Consistent screening of admitted infants with head injuries reveals high rate of nonaccidental trauma
Implementation of a nonaccidental trauma (NAT) screening guideline for the evaluation of infants admitted with an unwitnessed head injury has eliminated screening disparities. This study sought to determine the overall NAT rate and key predictive factors using this guideline.
All infants screened via the guideline from 2008 to 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. The overall rate of NAT as determined by our child abuse team was determined. In addition, a logistic regression model was developed to evaluate potential predictors of increased risk of NAT.
A total of 563 infants were screened with an overall rate of NAT of 25.6% (n = 144). NAT screening was consistent across race and insurance status. By univariate analysis, patients with government insurance or no insurance had a significantly higher rate of NAT, but race was not a factor. Also NAT victims had significantly higher ISS. Skeletal survey showed high positive predictive value of 94%. When regression modeling was performed, ISS, abnormal skeletal survey and having public or no insurance were significantly correlated with NAT, while race showed no correlation.
One quarter of infants admitted with a head injury not witnessed in a public situation were identified as the victims of NAT. The high rate of abuse among this population supports routine screening in order to avoid missing intentional injuries and preventing future injuries. Race is not a predictor of NAT, but insurance status, as a proxy for socioeconomic status, is correlated, and further investigation is needed.