Each case is different and the specific records needed will vary from case to case. You will need to carefully review your medical case with an experienced child abuse defense attorney to make sure that all of the pertinent records are obtained. However, the types of records needed in these cases come in five basic categories: Hospital (children's), Films, Birth Records, Prenatal/ Well Baby, and Family History.
Children’s Hospital Records:
Most likely your child was admitted to a children's hospital, either because he/she was transferred from a local hospital or because you were referred to a children's hospital by a physician or local hospital. The children's hospital generated hundreds, if not thousands of pages of medical records while your child or grandchild was in the hospital. Amongst these pages can lie critical medical information about your child including: blood tests, calcium levels, phosphate levels, elevated white blood counts, DEXA scans, OI (osteogenesis imperfecta) tests, and more. These records will also show what the hospital did, and sometimes more importantly, what they did not do. You will need these records to build an integrated medical defense to the false allegations of abuse.
Most claims of non-accidental trauma (shaken baby syndrome) are based primarily on X-rays, CT scans, and MRI's. Together these records are commonly called "films" referring to the old method of X-rays. Almost all medical records of this nature are now taken and stored digitally, which allows for the convenient sharing and review of X-rays CT's and MRI's between your attorney and defense medical experts.
Delivering a child, particularly vaginally, is a serious medical event in a child's and mother's life. Most mothers, due to exhaustion or excitement, are generally unaware of the vast amount of information gathered about their newborn baby within minutes and hours of birth. In these records can lie critical information that can help show how routine handling and care may be the explanation for your child's alleged injuries. This is particularly true in the case of premature or low-birth-weight infants. Certain medical conditions present in premature and low-birth-weight infants can mimic conditions thought to be evidence of abuse as well as predispose these infants to a higher risk of sustaining accidental injuries through routine handling and care.
Prenatal / Well Baby Records:
Just as the birth records can show the state of a newborn, prenatal records can show the existence of problems and/or complications your child may have experienced while in uterine. Some mothers think they had a "normal" pregnancy, and they may have, but prenatal records can sometimes reveal complications or concerns that were not disclosed or were not considered significant enough to raise with the mother. Most infants are seen two weeks after birth and at bi-weekly or monthly intervals thereafter. Well baby records should also be gathered in order to understand the full medical history of your child which is necessary in order to help your attorney and defense team show what really happened to your child or grandchild.
We are all the biological product of our parents and grandparents. As a result our children may inherit certain medical conditions that may make them more susceptible to unintentional or accidental injuries or fractures. The medical history of parents and grandparents can reveal the possibility of an inherited condition or disease in your child which can mimic alleged evidence of abuse.
In sum, obtaining the appropriate medical records is where the defense of the false allegations of abuse should begin. Your attorney and defense team will need to work to get all of the necessary records in your case. Without medical records, you cannot tell the whole story, and you will be left with the only the story of abuse, which you know is not true.