Consultations in Child Abuse Pediatrics

Ralph A. Hicks, Antoinette L. Laskey, Tara L. Harris, Roberta Hibbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study describes a hospital-based child abuse pediatrics consultation service. Medical records for all child abuse pediatrics consultations during 2006 to 2009 were reviewed. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. Of 2495 consultations, 13 were excluded due to insufficient information, 1682 were examinations for suspected sexual abuse, and 800 were examinations for nonsexual abuse concerns. Among the latter group of 800 patients, the most common reasons for consultation were fracture (33.5%), nonburn skin injury (16.8%), burn (15.4%), and intracranial injury (13.2%). Median patient age was 11 months (range = 3 days to 16 years). Case fatality rate was 3.9%. Final diagnosis was classified as definite/likely abuse in 40.0%, questionable/unknown in 24.5%, definite/likely accident in 23.6%, no injury in 4.6%, neglect in 4.0%, and a medical condition in 3.2%. Therefore, among consultations requested for suspected child maltreatment, a child abuse pediatrician concluded that abuse was definite or likely in less than half of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-815
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • child abuse
  • child abuse pediatrics
  • child maltreatment
  • consultation
  • pediatric subspecialty practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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