You have anaesthetised a 5-year-old boy for manipulation of a forearm fracture. During the operation you notice that he has multiple bruises on his upper arms and body that you think may indicate child abuse.
a) Which other types of physical injury should raise concerns of abuse in a child of this age? (6 marks)
b) What timely actions must be taken as a result of your concerns? (7 marks)
c) List parental factors (5 marks) and features of a child’s past medical history (2 marks) that are known to increase the risk of child abuse.
Child protection issues of relevance to the anaesthetist
Pass rate 44.7%
This is an important topic which is relevant to the practice of paediatric anaesthesia and forms part of mandatory training for all doctors. The question was not particularly well answered with many candidates appearing not to have knowledge of the presenting signs and symptoms of child abuse. Candidates assumed that the parents were harming their child so missed important steps such as informing the senior paediatrician before contacting social services. The general lack of knowledge on this subject was reflected in the poor pass rate.