The Relationship Between Temperature and Temporal Patterns and Incidence of Abusive Head Trauma in a Midwest Region Hospital

Nehali Mehta, Laura Bliss, Anne Trolard, Jamie S. Kondis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Abusive head trauma (AHT) is a leading cause of death and disability in children and one of the most lethal forms of child abuse. Most known risk factors for AHT pertain to the infant’s caregiver and limited research has assessed external influences beyond the familial or caregiver/infant dyad. Objective: Our primary objective was to determine if temperature patterns are associated with AHT events. Secondary outcomes included associations between AHT and specific days of the week, months, or seasons. Methods: This was a retrospective review of 198 patients under 24 months old who were diagnosed with AHT at Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. Demographic information was obtained from the medical record for each patient. For each AHT incident, the date and zip code of the incident were recorded. Temperature on the date of incident was identified using the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC). Chi square tests were utilized to calculate differences in cases per year as well as temperature and seasonal variation. Results: Temperature was not associated with a statistically significant increase in cases of AHT. There was an increase in cases as temperatures rose, but no statistically significant associations between incidence of AHT and day of the week, month, or season. Conclusion: Our study suggests no significant association between AHT incidence and temperature or temporal patterns in this Midwest hospital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalChild Maltreatment
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • abusive head trauma
  • child abuse
  • infants
  • injury prevention
  • non-accidental trauma
  • trauma

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