Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 31, Issue 7, pp 815–821 | Cite as

Subdural Hematoma Rebleeding in Relation to Abusive Head Trauma

  • Barbara Knox
  • Lucy B. Rorke-Adams
  • Francois M. Luyet
Original Article


When cases of suspected abusive head trauma are adjudicated in courts of law, one of the theories often presented by defense experts is that a normal, healthy infant or child suddenly neurologically deteriorates or dies several weeks to months after birth or minor injury because a preceding subdural hematoma spontaneously rebleeds after a minor traumatic event. This article reviews the underlying scientific basis of subdural hematoma rebleeding as it applies to this courtroom theory.


Subdural hematoma rebleeding Abusive head trauma Acute subdural hematoma Chronic subdural hematoma Birth related subdural hematoma Rebleeding 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  2. 2.UW Child Protection ProgramUniversity of Wisconsin American Family Children’s HospitalMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, Neurology, and PediatricsUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.The Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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