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Implications for practice

  • When examining an infant less than 42 days of age with suspected abuse in whom retinal haemorrhages are found, consideration should be given to whether these are a consequence of delivery
  • The vast majority of retinal haemorrhages occurring as a consequence of birth are resolved by two weeks of age
  • The mode of delivery most commonly associated with retinal haemorrhages is a vacuum delivery, either on its own or following failed forceps
  • Infants delivered by caesarean section rarely develop retinal haemorrhages


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