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Case 1, image 1: This was a 5 month old infant who died of nonaccidental blunt force trauma. Acute hemorrhage is seen within the retina.


The findings of nonaccidental trauma in children may include retinal hemorrhages, optic nerve sheath hemorrhage, skull fractures, cerebral edema and diffuse axonal injury. Note that these findings cannot be interpreted in isolation. For each finding, there is a body of literature that demonstrates nontraumatic origins. For example, retinal hemorrhages may be seen in cases of resuscitation and febrile seizures.

One forensic neuropathologist believes that retinal hemorrhages and retinal folds may be a result sudden and severe increases in intracerebral pressure (Forensic Pathology Blog Post, 2010).


A Watchful Eye, Forensic Pathology Blog (Dec 19, 2010).

Last updated: 2013-10-16
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