Dr B-C.PATONAY, W-R.OLIVER : Can birth trauma be confused for abuse ?

An unexpected infant death is usually investigated with a complete autopsy. If evidence of prior trauma is found at autopsy in these cases, suspicion is raised for nonaccidental trauma. In a young infant, the residua of trauma received during birth has the potential to be incorrectly interpreted as nonaccidental trauma.

We report a the findings of a 4 1/2-month-old-infant that died unexpectedly with a healing linear skull fracture and a circular lesion over the calvarium found at autopsy. Though this lesion was concerning, the remainder of the autopsy and the histological findings did not support a diagnosis of recent trauma. Review of the literature describing birth injuries made the diagnosis of healing, residual birth trauma more convincing in this case.



Il ne faut jamais secouer un bébé, cela pourrait l’handicaper à vie ou conduire à son décès. L’association ATIDE condamne sans réserve tout acte de maltraitance infantile.