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October 20, 1999

Recognizing Abusive Head Trauma in Children

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

JAMA. 1999;282(15):1421-1422. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-15-jac90009

To the Editor: The article by Dr Jenny and colleagues1 raises a critical question: how can practicing physicians improve their ability to recognize inflicted head trauma in young children? Unfortunately, their study does not provide enough information to solve the practitioner's constant question: what is the predictive value of the symptom or sign at hand? Jenny et al address the question of if a child has an inflicted head trauma, then what is the chance the child will have facial bruising, nonspecific vomiting, fever, or irritability? In fact, these probabilities reported in their article were high enough to be of interest.