Retinal haemorrhages in infants, abusive head trauma and the ophthalmologist

Gole, Glen (2010) Retinal haemorrhages in infants, abusive head trauma and the ophthalmologist. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 38 5: 435-436. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9071.2010.02339.x


Author Gole, Glen
Title Retinal haemorrhages in infants, abusive head trauma and the ophthalmologist
Journal name Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-6404
1442-9071
Publication date 2010-07
Sub-type Editorial
DOI 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2010.02339.x
Volume 38
Issue 5
Start page 435
End page 436
Total pages 2
Editor Robert Casson
Salmaan Al-Qureshi
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The diagnosis of child abuse remains a vexed area of medical practice. This is because it has enormous implications for the child and the family. For the child, the recognition of abuse is potentially life-saving. If abuse is proven in court, it may result in a gaol term for the perpetrator. The ophthalmologist will often be called upon in suspected cases to determine whether or not there are eye signs to support a diagnosis of abuse. If there has been direct ocular trauma from an assault, the ophthalmic signs of abuse are obvious and include bruising of the eyelids, eyelid laceration, corneal abrasion, hyphaema, traumatic iritis, traumatic cataract, optic atrophy, orbital fractures and cranial nerve palsies. Where there has not been direct trauma, the ophthalmologist’s findings may be crucial to confirm a probable diagnosis of abuse.

When caring for patients with AHT, we ophthalmologists do not work in isolation but alongside the hospital child protection team that includes paediatricians, nurses and social workers. Once the legal process begins, there will be interaction with police and legal practitioners as well. After the acute hospital phase, the long term ophthalmic care (including visual rehabilitation) of the child must be undertaken. Caring for these children is an important area of practice, which can be very challenging but is yet another reason why paediatric ophthalmology is one of the more deeply satisfying areas of ophthalmic practice.
© 2010 The Author
Journal compilation © 2010 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Keyword Shaken-baby-syndrome
Shaking
Injury
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Editorial
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 11:06:05 EST by Melanie Thomas on behalf of Paediatrics & Child Health - RBWH