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Subconjunctival Hemorrhages in Infants and Children: A Sign of Nonaccidental Trauma

DeRidder, Catherine A. MD*; Berkowitz, Carol D. MD*; Hicks, Ralph A. MD†‡; Laskey, Antoinette L. MD, MPH†‡§

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e318280d663
Illustrative Cases
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Subconjunctival hemorrhages in infants and children can be a finding after nonaccidental trauma. We describe 14 children with subconjunctival hemorrhages on physical examination, who were subsequently diagnosed by a child protection team with physical abuse. Although infrequent, subconjunctival hemorrhage may be related to abuse. Nonaccidental trauma should be on the differential diagnosis of subconjunctival hemorrhage in children, and consultation with a child abuse pediatrics specialist should be considered.

From the *Division of General and Emergency Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Torrance, CA; and †Department of Pediatrics, Center for Safe and Healthy Families, Primary Children’s Hospital, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; ‡Child Protection Programs, and §Children’s Health Services Research, Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Catherine A. DeRidder, MD, Division of General and Emergency Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1000 W. Carson St, Box 437, Torrance, CA 90509 (e-mail: cderidder53@gmail.com).

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.