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Failure To Report Child Abuse

Large Verdict Rendered Over Physician's, Nurse's Inaction.

The father brought his three year-old to the walk-in clinic for treatment of a bump on the boy's head. The father said another child had hit him on the head with a golf club. The physician examined the boy. In addition to the large lump on his forehead his body was covered in bruises and his teeth were chipped and decaying. The physician realized the boy was a battered child....

http://www.nursinglaw.com/July06PageOne.pdf

:cry:

Large Verdict Rendered Over Physician's, Nurse's Inaction.

http://www.nursinglaw.com/July06PageOne.pdf

:cry:

Even though the physician believed the father's story and that he was going to report the mother, why wouldn't she still report the abuse? That's what I don't understand.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

In defense of the MD involved, have you ever tried to report child abuse? At least in IL, it is a frustrating stream of being put on hold, giving information to multiple people and then when you call back to ensure a report was taken, you are again given the run around.

I always take the time to do this and I always follow thru with the reporting requirements but I can see on a hectic day how difficult this can be. And in the meantime, the child is almost always returned to the abuser.

May this poor little angel be granted some peace.

Even though the physician believed the father's story and that he was going to report the mother, why wouldn't she still report the abuse? That's what I don't understand.

If this is true, if this goes on then the state system is enabling the abuser. The AMA is very powerful, they should speak up about this.

scribblerpnp

Has 7 years experience. Specializes in Pediatrics.

I agree with Trauma's statement.

The physician and nurse SHOULD have reported the case, even if the father stated he would file a report because the physician/nurse witnessed suspicious bruising. It was still their responsibility.

Just recently , I had to file an initial CPS case. A child was in the car with the parent (who had been drunk driving), an accident occured, child went to the ER and had a broken bone.

Our office did follow-up. The other parent (not the drunk driver) stated to me that she had already been contacted by a social worker and was pretty sure the ED filed a CPS report. I believed her because she was no longer in the relationship with the drunk driving parent and was very open about the entire ordeal. When I called the county CPS, no report had been filed by the ED!

Thanks goodness I called to make sure, a new report was filed and off we went. It took me nearly 1-1/2 hours start to finish to file this report and at the same time I had a full schedule of sick pts to see.

Now, I don't know if the ED filed a report and it was misplaced or what. But I'm sure the CPS offices lose things just as easily as anyone else. And they certainly were not organized when I called them.

Even if someone else says they filed a report, you should ALWAYS file one yourself. The more reports that are filed, the more likely that a real investigation will be completed.

I have no sympathy for healthcare providers who fail to file because they don't want to get involved, or don't have the time, or are relying on someone else to do it. If they get in trouble for passing the buck, it's their own fault.

Sadly this is a societal problem as a whole. How many times have you seen a video of person severly injured and people just walk on by and do not stop for help? I also believe that this has a lot to do in the nursing profession of the "we are not to be judgemental" attitude espoused in nursing programs.

However, health care professionals are legally bound by manditory reporting regulation to report suspected abuse.

Xbox Live Addict

Has 8 years experience. Specializes in LTC/SNF, Psychiatric, Pharmaceutical.

In defense of the MD involved, have you ever tried to report child abuse? At least in IL, it is a frustrating stream of being put on hold, giving information to multiple people and then when you call back to ensure a report was taken, you are again given the run around.

I always take the time to do this and I always follow thru with the reporting requirements but I can see on a hectic day how difficult this can be. And in the meantime, the child is almost always returned to the abuser.

May this poor little angel be granted some peace.

DHS' follow-up on complaints of child abuse is very inadequate. In order for anything to really get done, they practically have to see the abusive parent hitting the child. Otherwise, they talk to the accused a bit, the accused probably makes some excuses and DHS moves on. DHS is a joke.

I agree that these agencies often do a poor job. However, that doesn't absolve the physician or nurse of their responsibility to report. It is manditory.

how many darned tragedies and deaths will our kids have to endure, before we, their protectors (?????) will lose the apathy?

disgraceful, unconscionable and soooo very tragic.

leslie

Poor little boy. Everyone failed him. :(

This should be a good reminder to all nurses and docs who get nervous to report or afraid of retribution, etc. that they need to do so. There is no other option but to make the call and let the appropriate people investigate.

nerdtonurse?, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

In fairness to the social workers I've known, they are the only folks with worse pt ratios than what we have. I knew one MSW who left the field because she was expected to have a 160 kid caseload, and spend at least 60 minutes per month with each child -- and the kids were spattered all over a county the size of a small state. She'd spend half the day in the car, get to the kid's house, kid's at "grandma's" at the other end of the county, off to grandma's, get to grandma's and "kid's at his dad's" -- but if they got a court order to bring the kid to the agency, this very mobile family suddenly had no transportation to get there. In this rural county, the judges were related to half the people put before him, he'd ask if they were coming over to watch the game Sunday, tell the kids (some of who had STDs at 8 and 9, pregnant at 11) to stop lying on their stepdad, and drop the charges.

Now that's a job I couldn't do.

Interesting. At the end of the article it said the clinics, in Arkansas, are not madatory reporters. So no technical foul, although certainly a moral one.

My daughter works for the Child Protective Services in Indiana. I am glad to say when healthcare personal call, any time day or night, she or one of her caseworkers go to the hospital and look at the child and talk to whoever call in the report. They then have to do a home visit within a week. Indiana put this system in place about 3 years ago. They also more then doubled the number of caseworkers in the state. I know this won't save every child, but it makes me more willing to call in reports if the need is there. Hopefully all states will revamp their systems, keeping in mind we all want all childern to live in safe enviroments

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