Pediatric burn patients warrant thorough evaluation because a sizeable proportion of pediatric burns are nonaccidental.
A multidisciplinary method involving an internal child protection team (CPT) was developed and used to identify suspected nonaccidental pediatric burns in all pediatric burn patients 5 years of age or younger who were evaluated by the CPT and social workers at our institution over a 55-month period.
We identified 343 cases for review that fit our age criteria, 6 of which we identified as cases of suspected abuse or neglect. On average, these patients were younger, suffered greater total body surface area burns (TBSA), and required a longer length of stay in the hospital than the total population. We have not had readmissions for repeat nonaccidental pediatric burn injuries in this group of patients since this model was implemented.
Our multidisciplinary method might provide a more consistent and reliable method for identifying cases of suspected abuse.