False child abuse allegations are occurring nation wide. When my grandson was falsely accused of being abused by his parents in Nov. 2011, I did what any concerned grand parent would do: I got involved! The controversy surrounding accidental trauma and unexplained injuries is in a critical stage. For years medical experts have relied on Dr. Paul Klienman’s research asserting that Classic Metaphyseal Lesions (CMLs) are secondary to abuse. Dr. David Ayoub’s research is in direct conflict of that hypothesis. Dr. Ayoub is joined by Dr Marvin Miller, Dr. Marta Cohen and Dr. Charles Hyman in an article submitted in the American Journal of Roentgeneology.
Dr. Ayoub is currently awaiting publication of another article that supports the hypothesis that X-ray images have been misdiagnosed as having been caused by abuse. Specifically CML’s.
Since 1946, Dr. John Caffey has been a leader in identifying child abuse injuries connected to suspicion of Shaken Baby Syndrome. His research has spawned many other areas of research. Dr. Klienman branched out further from Dr. Caffey’s research concerning Bucket Handle and Corner Fractures. My opinion is that since there was a need for evidence in cases where infants had unexplained injuries, Klienman and Caffey were looking for collective similarities among fractures that would help convict child abusers. Unfortunately, their research, as pointed out by Dr. Ayoub, was missing key elements. Nonetheless prosecutors, the Department of Human Services and many child abuse experts have joined forces utilizing Dr. Klienman’s research as conclusive evidence that CML’s are caused by abuse.
Our case was a classic example of how that hypothesis needs to be researched and evaluated more closely. My grandson was not abused. He had what is known as Neonatal Rickets. Most radiologists base their findings on research that does not separate the more common signs of rickets, such as bowing of the legs and thick wrists from the more subtle signs found in neonates. Classic rickets signs are seen only after 6 months, upon which time infants are crawling and walking. Infants are starting to apply weight to weak bones. My grandson was only 5 weeks old. He had what Dr. Klienman describes as CML’s. A lot of emphasis is placed on CML’s in court.
I refer you to a study by Dr. Dwek. Rickets can have images similar to those found in abuse victims. Dr. Dwek agrees with Dr. Klienman some what. His research is as a reference for a shared opinion of the two hypotheses. Had the State’s expert utilized Dr. Dwek’s or Ayoub’s approach to unexplained injurie,s our case would have had a much better chance of being seen as a metabolic condition, rather than that of child abuse. My grandson had no swelling, no bruising, no retinal hemorrhaging, no internal injuries, and no head or neck injuries. There was no history of domestic violence. No criminal charges were filed. My grandson’s birth history was available, yet the state’s expert did not think it necessary to review it. My grandson was born weighing 9lbs 7oz and was 41 5/7 wks. He was Shoulder Dystocia. As Dr. Dwek pointed out, all were crucial to a correct diagnosis.
Our case was one of the battles in the war that has been waging in the medical community. It was either fueled by money, egos or ignorance (or all three). My grandson was not abused. Many families nationwide are realizing the consequences of courts using incomplete research. Here is an excellent review of the situation concerning misdiagnosis of abuse and its consequences in the courts.
I have talked with Dr. Ines Boechat, a past president of the Society for Pediatric Radiology. She is concerned about this area. In my opinion, her opinion was consistent with Dr. Dwek’s. Radiologistss observations need to be combined with medical history and laboratory tests. This would ensure an accurate diagnosis is made.
Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article concerning fractures in infants. Hopefully medical experts will begin to differentiate between fact and fiction concerning unexplained fractures.
I have been in contact with several experts in this field of study to include Dr. David Ayoub, Dr. Marvin Miller, Dr. Steven Gaebeff, Dr. Bruce Hollis, Dr. Michael Laposata, Dr. Patrick Barnes, Dr. John Plunket, Dr. John Cannell, Dr Michael Holick.
The lack of media coverage is a continuing problem for so many. The misinformation, the secrecy within the Dept of Human Services and the controversial element are not politically correct news items. Hopefully that will change too. The public needs to know!