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Minerva Pediatrica 2013 February;65(1):71-5


language: English

Epistaxis in children under the age of two: possible marker of abuse/neglect? A retrospective study in North-Eastern Piedmont hospitals

Boscardini L. 1, Zanetta S. 3, Ballardini G. 1, Angellotti P. 1, Gramatica P. 2, Scotti A. 4, Barbero E. 5, Bona G. 3, Pellai A. 6, Guala A. 1

1 Unit of Pediatrics, Castelli Hospital, Verbania, Italy; 2 .118-DEA Unit, Castelli e S. Biagio Hospitals, Verbania e Domodossola, Italy; 3 Pediatric Clinic, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy; 4 ENT Unit, S. Biagio Hospital, Domodossola, Verbania, Italy; 5 Legal Medicine Service, ASL VCO – Regione Piemonte, Verbania, Italy; 6 Microbiology, Virology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy


Aim: Epistaxis is an extremely common event at all ages; however, under two years of age epistaxis is a very rare event and recent studies carried out in Great Britain concern this event as related to possible non-accidental trauma. To date, no other studies carried out in Italy are available on this topic.
Methods: A file review of all cases of epistaxis occurred in children under the age of 2 who were admitted into the ED in our area over a period of two years was carried out.
Results: We have collected data concerning 10 cases of epistaxis occurred in children under 2 years of age with an incidence of 10.4 cases per 10000 accessions to the ED of children under the age of 2. Four of the cases had attendances for head injury or facial trauma.
Conclusion: The results obtained are higher than the results of the British studies adopting the same methodology, but comparable to their surveillance data on the general population. Through the analysis of the collected data, two correlated assumptions have been made: a possible relationship between epistaxis and neglect, and a relation between epistaxis and domestic accidents.

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