Original Article

Pediatric Cases That Composed Temporary Legal Report; Whom? When?


  • Yasemin Çetinel
  • Betül Gülalp
  • Özlem Karagün
  • Özmen Örel
  • Tülay Deniz Seçkin
  • Hasan Aldinç
  • Sibel Benli

Received Date: 26.01.2013 Accepted Date: 05.05.2013 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2013;12(3):113-117


Reports to legal authorities must be made for a variety of patients who present to emergency departments (EDs). This study summarises paediatric cases reported with a temporary legal form from our ED and reviews the literature on this topic with reasons and possibilities.

Material and Methods:

Charts were reviewed of all patients presenting to the university ED up to 18 years of age who were declared to hospital police as a legal case between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Demographic and clinical details were recorded. SPSS version 12 was used for statistical analysis.


During the study period, 889 paediatric cases (mean age 8±5 years, 58% male) were referred to the hospital police as cases requiring legal action. The categories of injuries/events to patients due to the chief complaint were as follows: poisonings in 28% (n=255), falls in 23% (n=208), and traffic accidents in 16% (n=144). Over half (55%) of patients were discharged home while 45% were admitted: 13% to paediatric surgery, 8% to neurosurgery, and 7% to paediatrics.


Patients who were admitted to the emergency service due to falls could be reported to the legal authorities by doctors as a result of a suspicion of child abuse, neglect or any kind of physical violence instead of simple reasons due to the findings of the patients. It was observed that patients who had no significant physical findings or a history could not be reported.

Keywords: Emergency medicine, legal report, paediatrics