There are numerous examples in pediatrics where, depending on one's perspective, data will either reassure us or alarm us. A public health official will be delighted with the 95% efficacy of a vaccine, while an individual practitioner may lie awake at night worrying about the 20 to 30 susceptible children in his or her practice. In another example, the lack of a foolproof method of diagnosing acute appendicitis has caused us to accept a false-positive rate; we are willing to remove a few normal appendixes as a consequence of our desire not to miss any "hot" ones.
Since the publication of the article "The Battered Child Syndrome,"1 numerous reports have been published that highlight the many ways that abuse can mimic organic and psychosocial disease, as well as the many ways that organic disease and social/cultural practices can mimic abuse.
The articles by
KRUGMAN RD. Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit: The Need for Improved Skills in Evaluating Children and Families. Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(9):867–868. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140110021019
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