Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Shaken Baby Syndrome 

Shaken Baby Syndrome 

What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

The Syndrome, is the kind of traumatic brain injury that is inflicted when a young baby is shaken intensely. 

A young baby may have undeveloped neck muscles and by comparison to an older child, a large and heavy head. 

Violent shaking can sometimes make often quite fragile brain bounce backwards and forwards inside the babies skull and can cause bleeding, bruising, and swelling. 

This can lead to severe brain damage that may be permanent or even death. 

The characteristic injuries of shaken baby syndrome are:-

  • Bleeding in the brain (Subdural hemorrhages)

  • Bleeding in the retina (Retinal hemorrhages)

  • Neck and spinal cord damage

  • Rib and bone fractures. 

These injuries may not be noticed at first. 

Shaken Baby Syndrome Symptoms - may include:-

  • An extremely irritable child

  • A child who becomes lethargic

  • A child who is of there feed

  • General problems with breathing

  • Occasional convulsions

  • Sickness or vomiting

  • Bluish or very pale skin color. 

Generally this kind of injury will occur in children who are less than than 2 years old. This can however be found in children below the age of 6. 

Can this be treated? 

Respiratory support with measures to sustain life, even surgery can be used to prevent or stop internal bleeding in the brain.

Some Doctors will use scans of the brain, like CT or MRI scans in order to diagnose the problem more efficiently.

What will be the general prognosis?

When compared to a normal child, infants with any kind of traumatic injury to the brain do not have such a good prognosis.

Damage to the eyes can sometimes cause retinal blindness. 

In the main, babies who have survived a severe shaking can have a form of neurological disorder or a mental disability. 

They may have some mental retardation or cerebral palsy, which in some cases will not be completely apparent before they are 6 years old. 

Sometimes, children who have shaken baby syndrome could need medical care for the rest of their lives. 

Is this subject being researched? 

A lot of the current research is attuned to finding much better ways in the treatment and healing of the infants who have shaken baby syndrome or similar conditions. 

The author of Shaken Baby Syndrome is  Anthony George

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Source Information:  National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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© Anthony George 2005 Shaken Baby Syndrome