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Pediatric Neurosurgeon Raises Awareness for Child Abuse

Dr. Kimberly Terry, a pediatric neurosurgeon at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, operates on the brains of abused children far too often, reports KSAT.

Doctors Know Difference between Accidental Injury and Abuse

Dr. Terry says her trauma team may conduct a study due to the volume of child abuse cases that they see, citing how rampant the issue is in the community.

According to KSAT, Dr. Terry operates on three to four children with brain damage due to physical abuse every month. She says they can tell when damage to the brain is due to an accident, such as failing out of the crib or hitting their head during a fall, or due to a case of abuse.

Brain scans will show appearance of old blood, a sign of repeated abuse to the head.

Although she can save lives, Dr. Terry wants to remind everyone that the damage that is inflicted on children’s brains can be forever, reports KSAT. For example, damage to the brain can cause vision, speaking, and walking problems during the child’s entire life.

According to KSAT, Dr. Terry hopes she can educate people about these devastating effects of physical abuse and prevent future incidents.

Child Abuse Statistics

According to Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas (CACTX),

  • Today, 185 Texas children will be victims of abuse.
  • In 2015, almost 40,000 children received critical services at a Texas children’s advocacy center.
  • Of the total number of children served by a children’s advocacy center last year,
    • 71% were involved in a sexual abuse case
    • 95% knew their perpetrator
    • 25% were not old enough to attend kindergarten

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