AB229. SOH21AS059. The benefit of ‘Sniper’s Eyes’ in child abuse
Head & Neck Poster Session

AB229. SOH21AS059. The benefit of ‘Sniper’s Eyes’ in child abuse

Mohammed Adel Salem1,2,3, Habibullah Khan1,2,3, John Eugene Fenton1,2,3

1University of Limerick Medical School, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland; 2Department Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, University Hospital Limerick, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland; 3Bon Secours Hospital at Barrington’s, Limerick, Ireland

Background: Child abuse is rarely encountered in Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck (ORL-HNS) practice but it still behoves clinicians to be alert for such an eventuality. A Systematic Review on child abuse by Rees et al. [2017] outlines the features associated with this relatively common circumstance in any community but highlights the dearth of information on the subject in the ORL-HNS literature.

Methods: A case of child abuse realised at our department which was subsequently successfully prosecuted is presented with a review of the literature involving paediatric non-accidental injury in our specialty.

Results: We wish to add our learning points to the dissertation by Rees et al. [2017] from a case which in the first instance supports the evidence that a laceration to the pinna in a 5-year-old male is suspicious for paediatric non-accidental injury. Furthermore, the history did not seem entirely plausible as he allegedly injured his ear while falling off a table but also that he was noted on external nasal examination to have columellar retraction indicative of previous trauma. The combination of these four factors; a questionable reason for the accident, a finding not consistent with the alleged incident, an infrequent type of paediatric injury and signs of previous separate trauma lead to the reporting of our concerns to the relevant Consultant Paediatrician. Regular abuse including the wilful fracture of the child’s arm across a radiator by his father was uncovered at follow-up investigation. This ultimately led to a conviction with a contemporary newspaper headline at the time of ‘I hope my daddy gets arrested for 100 years’.

Conclusions: ‘Eyes (and ears) wide open’ or ‘Sniper’s eyes’ as suggested by some of our NCHDs most likely prevented a tragedy but certainly helped in a safe outcome for this child.

Keywords: Child abuse; non-accidental injury; otorhinolaryngology


Funding: None.


Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Statement: The authors are accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Open Access Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

doi: 10.21037/map-21-ab229
Cite this abstract as: Salem MA, Khan H, Fenton JE. SOH21AS059. The benefit of ‘Sniper’s Eyes’ in child abuse. Mesentery Peritoneum 2021;5:AB229.

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