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Suspicious scars: physical child abuse vs Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Amal Nishantha Vadysinghe; Chatula Usari Wickramashinghe; Dineshi Nadira Nanayakkara; Chandishni Ishara Kaluarachchi

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Child abuse is a sensitive topic among many medical practitioners and the diagnosis of this entity requires awareness about conditions which can mimic physical child abuse. Here, the authors present a case of a 13-year-old school non-attendee who was referred due to multiple scars, over areas prone to accidental as well as non-accidental injury, who underwent medicolegal examination due to suspicion of physical child abuse. On further inquiry, it was discovered that she had easy bruising and poor wound healing. A diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome was established and physical child abuse was excluded. This case emphasizes the importance of identifying conditions which may confound the diagnosis of physical child abuse. This is of utmost importance in avoiding adverse legal and psycho-social implications on the child, family and society.


Child Maltreatment, Child Neglect, Ehlers Danlos Disease


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