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Reading: Medico-Legal Issues of a Leech Bite in a Premenarcheal Child


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Medico-Legal Issues of a Leech Bite in a Premenarcheal Child


Konara Mudiyanselage Tikiri Bandara Gunathilake,

Provintial General Hospital, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka., LK
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Muditha Vidanapathirana

Department of ForenssicMedicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
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Vaginal bleeding after first week of life, but before menarche, is always abnormal and needs diagnostic evaluation. This may be the first evidence of sexual abuse. False allegations and suspicion among guardians may lead to serious consequences on the child as well as the suspects.

Case history
An eight month old baby living in a rubber estate was presented with sudden onset vaginal bleeding for two days. Bleeding disorders were excluded and the child was referred to a Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) to exclude sexual abuse. Medico-legal examination done on the third day after the incident revealed 1.2cm x 1cm bleb of hemorrhage on labia minora. An isolated underlying 0.5cm abrasion appeared to cause active bleeding. There was no past history of similar episodes. Grandmother named a few suspects and alleged sexual abuse. Later, mother mentioned that a leech was found in the room a few hours after the incident.

Unusual vaginal bleeding in children should be investigated thoroughly to achieve justice, exclude false allegations and protect children and guardians from stigma. Forensic pathologists must be aware of fauna of his working area because they could cause medico-legally significant injuries.

How to Cite: Gunathilake, K.M.T.B. and Vidanapathirana, M., 2016. Medico-Legal Issues of a Leech Bite in a Premenarcheal Child. Anuradhapura Medical Journal, 10(1), pp.21–23. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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