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Catalogue of child abuse

Graham V Vimpani
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (4): .

The book covers the full spectrum of child abuse as well as providing over 300 pages of photographs (with up to five photographs per page). It provides good guidance on conducting physical examinations, colposcopy and photography. The authors emphasise that the diagnosis and management of abuse requires an interdisciplinary approach, where different professionals and systems bring together different pieces of the jigsaw. There are sections and subsections that cover each type of abuse and its differential diagnosis, and each section starts with a brief overview of the salient points. The contents of many of these sections are in note form (as if they have been made up from teaching slides which were orally expanded). This can be occasionally confusing — for example, under a section on retinal haemorrhages is a dot point “vaginal birth (30%)”. It is unclear if this refers to the proportion of vaginal births having this abnormality, or whether it refers to the fact that only 30% of retinal haemorrhages occurred in infants born vaginally. References for some of these assertions would also have been helpful. Nevertheless, the format is clear and user-friendly.

  • Graham V Vimpani


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