Document Detail

Homicidal commotio cordis: the final blow in a battered infant.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12510035     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: This report describes in detail the occurrence of inflicted commotio cordis (cardiac concussion) in a previously abused 7-week-old. Though inflicted commotio cordis has been reported in three toddlers, this is the first report in a young infant. METHOD: Following documentation of abuse in a living child, the case of a death of a prior sibling--previously regarded as natural--was re-opened for further investigation. Original autopsy materials were reviewed, and the body of the deceased child was exhumed. RESULTS: Exhumation and second autopsy documented more than 50 fractures in the deceased child. When re-interviewed, the children's father admitted to causing the injuries in both children, and gave a textbook description of commotio cordis as the mechanism of death in the fatal case. CONCLUSIONS: Commotio cordis is a rare event in which a fatal dysrhythmia--usually ventricular fibrillation--is precipitated by a blow to the precordial chest. Previous reports have indicated that homicidal commotio cordis can occur in small children. This report demonstrates that commotio cordis can occur even in the very young, previously abused infant.
Andrew M Baker; Barbara R Craig; Gael J Lonergan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Child abuse & neglect     Volume:  27     ISSN:  0145-2134     ISO Abbreviation:  Child Abuse Negl     Publication Date:  2003 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-01-02     Completed Date:  2003-04-29     Revised Date:  2005-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7801702     Medline TA:  Child Abuse Negl     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  125-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Rockville, MD, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death*
Child Abuse*
Fatal Outcome
Fractures, Bone
Heart Injuries / complications*,  etiology,  pathology*
Ventricular Fibrillation / etiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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