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Inaccurate Trauma History Due to Fear of Health Care Personnel Involving Law Enforcement in Children of Noncitizen Immigrants

Waldrop, Ron D. MD; Felter, Robert A. MD

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181fe91ba
Illustrative Cases

Two cases illustrating intentional withholding of information by noncitizen parents of children with major trauma are described. The difficulties and the results of not obtaining an accurate history in the initial assessment of accidental trauma victims are discussed. The core problem in these cases seems to be a fear of health care providers and a false perception that emergency medical services and emergency department personnel are extensions of law enforcement. These cases illustrate potential issues in managing the children of noncitizen immigrants.

From the Department of Pediatrics, Commonwealth Emergency Physicians, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Leesburg, VA.

Reprints: Ron D. Waldrop, MD, Commonwealth Emergency Physicians, Inova Loudoun Hospital, 44045 Riverside Pkwy, Leesburg, VA 20176 (e-mail: rwaldrop49@yahoo.com).

This study was performed with no funding.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.