GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2007

 

 

SESSION LAW 2008-179

HOUSE BILL 2338

 

 

AN ACT TO REQUIRE HOSPITALS AND PHYSICIANS TO REPORT SERIOUS, NON-ACCIDENTAL TRAUMA INJURIES IN CHILDREN TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CHILD FATALITY TASK FORCE.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

SECTION 1.  G.S. 90-21.20 reads as rewritten:

"Article 1C.

"Physicians and Hospital Reports.

" 90-21.20.  Reporting by physicians and hospitals of wounds, injuries and illnesses.

(a)       Such cases of wounds, injuries or illnesses as are enumerated in subsection (b) shall be reported as soon as it becomes practicable before, during or after completion of treatment of a person suffering such wounds, injuries, or illnesses. If such case is treated in a hospital, sanitarium or other medical institution or facility, such report shall be made by the Director, Administrator, or other person designated by the Director or Administrator, or if such case is treated elsewhere, such report shall be made by the physician or surgeon treating the case, to the chief of police or the police authorities of the city or town of this State in which the hospital or other institution, or place of treatment is located. If such hospital or other institution or place of treatment is located outside the corporate limits of a city or town, then the report shall be made by the proper person in the manner set forth above to the sheriff of the respective county or to one of his deputies.

(b)       Cases of wounds, injuries or illnesses which shall be reported  by physicians, and hospitals include every case of a bullet wound, gunshot wound, powder burn or any other injury arising from or caused by, or appearing to arise from or be caused by, the discharge of a gun or firearm, every case of illness apparently caused by poisoning, every case of a wound or injury caused, or apparently caused, by a knife or sharp or pointed instrument if it appears to the physician or surgeon treating the case that a criminal act was involved, and every case of a wound, injury or illness in which there is grave bodily harm or grave illness if it appears to the physician or surgeon treating the case that the wound, injury or illness resulted from a criminal act of violence.

(c)       Each report made pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) above shall state the name of the wounded, ill or injured person, if known, and the age, sex, race, residence or present location, if known, and the character and extent of his injuries.

(c1)     In addition to the reporting requirements of subsection (b) of this section, cases involving recurrent illness or serious physical injury to any child under the age of 18 years where the illness or injury appears, in the physician's professional judgment, to be the result of non-accidental trauma shall be reported by the physician as soon as it becomes practicable before, during, or after completion of treatment. If the case is treated in a hospital, sanitarium, or other medical institution or facility, the report shall be made by the Director, Administrator, or other person designated by the Director or Administrator of the medical institution or facility, or if the case is treated elsewhere, the report shall be made by the physician or surgeon treating the case to the chief of police or the police authorities of the city or town in this State in which the hospital or other institution or place of treatment is located. If the hospital or other institution or place of treatment is located outside the corporate limits of a city or town, then the report shall be made by the proper person in the manner set forth above to the sheriff of the respective county or to one of the sheriff's deputies. This reporting requirement is in addition to the duty set forth in G.S. 7B-301 to report child abuse, neglect, dependence, or the death of any juvenile as the result of maltreatment to the director of the department of social services in the county where the juvenile resides or is found.

(d)       Any hospital, sanitarium, or other like institution or Director, Administrator, or other designated person, or physician or surgeon participating in good faith in the making of a report pursuant to this section shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as the result of the making of such report."

SECTION 2.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2008.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 9th day of July, 2008.

 

 

                                                                    s/ Beverly E. Perdue

                                                                         President of the Senate

 

 

                                                                    s/ Joe Hackney

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

                                                                    s/ Michael F. Easley

                                                                         Governor

 

 

Approved 3:05 p.m. this 4th day of August, 2008