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Head trauma outcomes of verifiable falls in newborn babies
  1. C Ruddick1,
  2. M Ward Platt1,
  3. C Lazaro2
  1. 1Women's Services, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Department of Child Health, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Martin Ward Platt, Ward 35, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; m.p.ward-platt{at}


Eleven newborn babies of normal weights sustained falls onto a hard surface in hospital. The one baby who fell from >1 m sustained clinical and radiological trauma and encephalopathy, with a skull fracture and cerebral contusion. No other baby demonstrated neurological signs despite the presence of parietal skull fractures in four of six who were x rayed; only two babies had scalp swelling. The findings suggest that parietal fractures can result from very low-level falls, and scalp swelling is a poor marker for underlying fracture.

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  • Competing interests: None.