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Acta Médica Costarricense

versão On-line ISSN 0001-6002versão impressa ISSN 0001-6012


MADRIGAL-RAMIREZ, Édgar Alonso. Legal-Medical Aspects of the Battered Child Syndrome. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2010, vol.52, n.4, pp.203-210. ISSN 0001-6002.

The battered child syndrome, whose genesis involves multiple biopsychosocial factors, affects children of all ages around the world, especially young children with certain risk factors. Although the physical damage that occurs could be temporary, physical scars can also occur and, particularly, psychological ones, that are usually persistent or even death. In Costa Rica there is a comprehensive legislation that protects children against abuse, corresponding to the national health system team to safeguard their health and often their lives. In this context, it is up to the Doctor to be a skilled performer in the clinical assessment through which the patient is to be addressed. From a non revictimizing interrogation, health personnel should make an immediate approach conductive to avoid further damage to the child who has been physically and sexually abused. Such personnel should understand the mechanism and pathophysiology of trauma, the differential diagnosis and the clinical forensic assessment, in addition to be able to identify psychological indicators of the origin of the child’s trauma. Particular attention should be given to the seizure, storage and handlingof biological samples in cases of sexual crimes in order to avoid the loss of forensic evidence.

Palavras-chave : battered child syndrome; shaken child syndrome; forensic traumatology; revictimization.

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