New guideline on abusive head trauma

  • 17 Jan 2024
  • Communications team

An updated clinical guideline, Abusive Head Trauma and the Eye in Infancy, is now available. It’s an important evidence-based document that updates the previous guideline published in 2013.

Abusive head trauma (AHT) in infants and children is a form of child maltreatment. Infants and children suspected of being subjected to abusive head injury are often referred by paediatricians to the on-call ophthalmology team for examination of signs of overt external ocular injury or occult vitreoretinal trauma. It is important for ophthalmologists to be familiar with the clinical features of AHT, how to examine an infant and document their findings.

Incorporating up-to-date literature, the guideline includes reviews of newborn retinal haemorrhages, non-vitreoretinal ocular manifestations of physical injury and fabricated or induced injury.

This document is primarily aimed at ophthalmologists in practice but also provides an evidence-based resource for any doctor dealing with children and those practicing in child protection.