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Forum Home > Skull Fxs > Delayed Sudden Death After Accidental Fall - Case Study

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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2003 Dec;24(4):371-6.


Delayed sudden death in an infant following an accidental fall: a case report with review of the literature.


Denton S, Mileusnic D.

Cook County Office of the Medical Examiner, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Comment in:


Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2004 Sep;25(3):270; author reply 270-1.


"Several controversies exist regarding ultimately lethal head injuries in small children. Death from short falls, timing of head injury, lucid intervals, presence of diffuse axonal injury (DAI), and subdural hematoma (SDH) as marker of DAI are the most recent controversial topics of debate in this evolving field of study. In this area of debate, we present a case of delayed death from a witnessed fall backwards off a bed in a 9-month-old black male child who struck his head on a concrete floor and was independently witnessed as "healthy" postfall for 72 hours until he was discovered dead in bed. Grandmother, babysitter, and mother all independently corroborated under police investigation that the child "acted and behaved normally" after the fall until death. Autopsy showed a linear nondisplaced parietal skull fracture, diastasis of adjacent occipital suture, subgaleal hemorrhage with evidence of aging, small posterior clotting SDH, marked cerebral edema, and a small tear of the midsuperior body of the corpus callosum consistent with focal axonal injury (FAI). No DAI was seen, and there were no retinal hemorrhages. All other causes of death were excluded upon thorough police and medical examiner investigation. Although this seems to be a rare phenomenon, a delayed, seemingly symptom-free interval can occur between a clinically apparent mild head injury and accidental death in a young child."


PMID: 14634479 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

February 10, 2010 at 9:59 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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