U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Development and Validation of A New Pediatric Head Injury Assessment Tool For Possible Child Abuse Cases Considering Subject-Specific Child Head Anatomy

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2018
20 pages
Findings and methodology are presented for a research project that sought to establish a new paradigm for developing and using subject-specific pediatric head finite element (FE) models to provide objective and accurate assessments of head injuries and the stated causes in infants or young children.

The developed FE model-based injury assessment tool is designed to assess whether a non-abusive injury cause, such as a fall, described by the parents or caregivers can or cannot cause the medically observed head injury of a child. The final product of this project is a model-based head-injury assessment tool for 0-3 year-old children. User need only input a patient's basic information (age, weight, height, head circumference, and/or head CT images) in order to rapidly produce the subject-specific head FE model. If incident conditions - such as fall height, fall angle, and impact surface and material and thickness - are also defined, the model can predict a range of skull/brain injury risks based on model-calculated results. It will also provide a statistical assessment as to whether the head injury is consistent with the stated injurious event. A total of 162 0-3 year old patients reported to be involved in a witnessed fall were enrolled to participate in the fall investigation study in the pediatric emergency department at the University of Michigan and Michigan Children's Hospital. The FE results showed a good potential for injury pattern prediction compared to the actual skull fractures. 13 figures and 12 references

Date Published: February 1, 2018