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Diagnostic Imaging of Non-Accidental Injury and Percutaneous Foreign Bodies: A Case Report from Zambia

Ernest Chanda
Osward Bwanga
Suzyo Mutambo
Mike Chisha
Mulewa Mulenga
John Musuku


This case report presents the role imagingplayed in the diagnosis and surgical removal of multiple percutaneous foreign bodies in a  5-year-old child who presented with non-accidental injuries (NAI) to medical facilities in Zambia. Children are commonly referred for imaging with suspected accidental foreign bodies, but percutaneous foreign bodies due to NAI are rare. NAI is caused due to child physical abuse and therefore, imaging plays a major role in the diagnosis and provision of legal evidence. In this case report, conventional radiography (plain film) of askeletal survey was the first imaging requested. This was supplemented with a computed tomography (CT) scan of the thorax and abdomen. Lastly, foreign bodies were removed under the guidance of the image intensifier. Although, the cases of NAI reported and presented in medical facilities in Zambia are rare, this case shows that physical child abuse is practiced in our communities. Thus, radiographers and radiologists should pay attention to such cases during imaging and reporting, respectively.

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eISSN: 0047-651X
print ISSN: 0047-651X