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An Unusual Case of Child Head Injury by Coat Hanger

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Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children suspected of child abuse. Penetrating cranio-facial injuries are generally rare in the pediatric age group and are caused by both accidental and inflicted mechanisms. We report an unusual case of a 2-year-old female who was admitted to a pediatric emergency room with an industrial stainless steel coat hanger impaled in her skull. Pertinent clinical forensic medicine examination, coupled with home inspection and interviews by the local law enforcement, revealed a horrible episode of domestic violence.
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Keywords: child abuse; coat hanger; forensic science; penetrating cranio-facial injuries

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Section of Legal Medicine (DI.M.I.M.P.), University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. 2: Division of Forensic Pathology and Clinical Forensic Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, 810 Barrett Avenue, Louisville, KY 40204-1702.

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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