Volume 21, Issue 4 (October 1976)
Several Unusual Cases of Child Abuse
The authors reviewed all deaths which were known or suspected to have resulted from child neglect or abuse in New Mexico during 1974 and 1975. Nine cases were identified, representing a wide spectrum of patterns of maltreatment of children in several racial and cultural groups. Children of Indian, Spanish-American, Anglo, and Negro descent are included, ranging in age from 3 months to 5 years (see Table 1). Some died as the result of a single traumatic episode, while others were victims of multiple, repeated episodes of abuse. The cases are similar to those presented in previous large series in that most injuries resulted from blunt trauma and were inflicted by parents or close relatives of the victims [1–4]. The four cases selected for discussion present unusual variations in the typical pattern of child abuse; one death was due to complications resulting from medical neglect, an occurrence not uncommonly seen in isolated areas of this rural state.