Non-accidental trauma in pediatric patients: a review of epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment
Non-accidental trauma (NAT) is a leading cause of childhood traumatic injury and death in the United States. It is estimated that 1,400 children died from maltreatment in the United States in 2002 and abusive head trauma (AHT) accounted for 80% of these deaths. This review examines the epidemiology and risk factors for NAT as well as the general presentation and required medical work up of abused children. In addition, potential algorithms for recognizing cases of abuse are reviewed as well as outcomes in children with NAT and potential neurosurgical interventions which may be required. Finally, the evidence for seizure prophylaxis in this population is addressed.