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Fortnightly emergency department case-file audit for timely detection of missed cases of suspicious injury

Amanda Gwee, Benjamin Coghlan, Cate Rayner, Anne Smith and David Krieser
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (1): 23. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10303
Published online: 20 January 2014

To the Editor: A key role of emergency department (ED) doctors who assess injured children is to determine if abuse or neglect could have caused or exacerbated an injury. Physically abused children have a median of one to two ED presentations before non-accidental injury is diagnosed.1 Better identification may be life-saving, as repeat injury occurs in up to 70% of cases.2 We assessed the impact of a fortnightly review of the case files of young children who presented to the ED with injury on the detection of cases of possible non-accidental injury.

  • Amanda Gwee1
  • Benjamin Coghlan2
  • Cate Rayner1
  • Anne Smith3
  • David Krieser1

  • 1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Sunshine Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: amanda.gwee@rch.org.au

Acknowledgements: 

We thank the Windermere foundation for providing the funding for this study.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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