Too many SNAT patients!!


  • Specializes in Pediatric Intensive Care. Has 13 years experience.

I have noticed a huge increase in the "suspected non accidental trauma" patient population recently. Most of them are young infants ranging from 1 month to 2 years of age. It is wearing me down having to take care of these kids and knowing that the perp is standing right there next to me.

Seems like it is always Mom's boyfriend!


139 Posts

Specializes in PICU.

I know! I don't know what is is about this winter, but I feel like we are seeing more and more in that same age group. I would like to see some data on it.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

Well, ONE is too many and it's ALWAYS mom's boyfriend, or so it seems. Our child protection team gets any suspected perp banned from visiting our locked PICU.


409 Posts

see, our unit NEVER bans the family. I hate it!

They say winter, particularly christmastime is busiest time for it. I've also heard the economy is leading to a rise in abuse lately :(

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

It IS always mom's boyfriend or the baby's stepfather/father. These cases definitely spike in the winter. There was speculation a few years back that the economy tanking led to an increase in this:

Recession linked to increase in shaken baby syndrome -

These are the worst cases in pediatrics as far as I'm concerned. Of course there are plenty of devastating things that we see day in and day out... like a beautiful child who walks in with a bit of a head tilt and is found to have a malignant brain stem glioma with a 9 month prognosis... but the difference is that with SNAT cases, you know that someone actually did something to that child to cause their issues. No one does anything to cause their child to develop cancer.


409 Posts

I agree that it is often the boyfriend, but we've had several recently (and my most traumatic case) where it was mom. That case was so chilling because we did the first brain death exam, and afterward she just asked me for some washcloths, got into her pj's, and slept peacefully all night long.

Do you guys see many arrests on your cases? I feel like more often than not, they get away with it.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma. Has 18 years experience.

The most recent SNAT case in our unit was a woman who was suspiciously DD and three her 5-wk old up against the wall, basically like a doll. G-mom was at the bedsideShe was involved in the system; her and her brother were taken away from mom as children...wonder if she just did what her mother did to her and/or brother??