Abuse screening tool among projects funded by $7.7 million grant

A Penn State College of Medicine research project to study use of a screening tool for pediatric abusive head trauma will be supported by a $7.7 million National Institutes of Health grant to Penn State. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development selected Penn State to establish the Center for Healthy Children, a national resource for child maltreatment research and training. To further this effort, Penn State has committed $3.4 million in funds, to total more than $11 million.

As one of the of the center's research projects, Dr. Kent P. Hymel, a child abuse pediatrician at Penn State Children's Hospital, will lead eight pediatric intensive care units from across the country in a randomized clinical trial designed to assess the impact of a novel screening tool for pediatric abusive head trauma. About 40 percent of child maltreatment deaths result from abusive head trauma. For the first time in any clinical setting, physicians will apply a screening tool to help determine if an abuse evaluation should be initiated for a child admitted to the hospital with head trauma. The screening tool could substantially reduce cases of missed or misdiagnosed abusive head trauma, unnecessary abuse evaluations, abusive re-injury and death.

Find more information about the Penn State grant here — and in the video below.

April 18, 2017 Penn State Health News

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