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Perineal-Vaginal Injuries in Children: Accident or Abuse?

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A large number of conditions have been mistaken for abuse. Differentiating accidental injuries from inflicted injuries is important in the management of injured children. In this work, the authors describe two cases of accidental perineal-vaginal injury in children. In case 1, a 4-year-old girl suffered a vaginal tear caused by violent stretching during play; in case 2, a 3-year-old girl had minor lacerations of labia minora and majora. The intervention of a multi-specialist team including a forensic pathologist and forensic psychiatrist was the key factor in being able to exclude abuse by third parties in the described cases.. This leads to the appropriate recommendations to be adopted in the forensic medicine setting.
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Keywords: accidental perineal-vaginal injury; child sex abuse; forensic pathologist; forensic science

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Section of Legal Medicine, University of Bari, P.zza Giulio Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. 2: Section of Forensic Psychiatry, University of Bari, P.zza Giulio Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Publication date: 01 July 2010

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