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Bite marks of child abuse - Suspected Child Abuse
See also in: Anogenital
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Bite marks of child abuse - Suspected Child Abuse

See also in: Anogenital
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Contributors: Mary Spencer MD, Noah Craft MD, PhD, Ann Lenane MD, Amy Swerdlin MD, Manasi Kadam Ladrigan MD, Carol Berkowitz MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Bite marks can be a form of abusive injury and are of particular concern because of their potential for infection. Various instruments have been used in child abuse and traditionally leave patterned imprints of their shape on the child's skin. Bite marks should be suspected when ecchymoses, abrasions, or lacerations are found in an elliptical, ovoid, or semicircular pattern.

Bite marks can occur anywhere on the body and have been reported as a form of sexual as well as physical abuse. Bite marks have been documented on both pediatric male and female genitalia but are more commonly found in males. In female children, bite marks and bruises may be found in the upper or inner thighs.

A human bite typically causes less tissue destruction than that from an animal but has greater potential for infection. Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria commonly colonize the mouth such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Clostridium. Bite infections are typically polymicrobial.

Childhood physical and sexual abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions affecting children of all ages and economic and cultural backgrounds. It is estimated that each year over 3 million children are victims of abuse, with close to 2,000 fatalities secondary to maltreatment. Although awareness is increasing, it is often challenging to differentiate findings attributable to child abuse from those of other benign skin conditions.

Codes

ICD10CM:
T76.12XA – Child physical abuse, suspected, initial encounter

SNOMEDCT:
371779005 – Physical child abuse

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Last Updated: 03/05/2015
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Bite marks of child abuse - Suspected Child Abuse
See also in: Anogenital
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Bite marks of child abuse : Erythema, Skin erosion, Human bite
Clinical image of Bite marks of child abuse
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