Learn about shaken baby syndrome and mild traumatic brain injury in babies.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
♫ Shaken Baby Syndrome ♫ Detection of TBIs of any severity in young children is more difficult since they are often unable to articulate their symptoms. This is particularly true in cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome, or non-accidental trauma. Shaken Baby Syndrome is a devastating trauma inflicted upon a child through the rapid to-and-fro motion of actually shaking a child and--with or without a head strike. The presentation of that child can be anything from a listless child to a child who's in a coma. The diagnostic criteria for that include the evaluation of retinal hemorrhages. This is a devastating injury and can include presentations ranging from nausea, vomiting, and lethargy to frank coma. Hemorrhaging in the brain and the retina are very common because of the disproportionate size of the skull and the brain relative to the infant's body. In addition, because it's still developing and growing, these vessels are very prone to shearing. The retinal blood vessels--you'll find massive retinal hemorrhaging, pre-retinal and intra-retinal. In addition, you're going to find traumatic retinoschisis, which is also hallmark of Shaken Baby Syndrome. The global assessment of a child who has suspected non-accidental trauma includes evaluation by pediatric or a forensic pediatrician, ophthalmologist, radiologist to look for long-bone injuries and remote injuries which the child may have sustained. These are patients who are in extremis and the diagnosis is critical, so that the patient is not placed back into a situation where additional harm can occur.
Posted on BrainLine April 5, 2010.
New Mexico's Aging and Long-Term Services Department with funding from the State of NM and the US Health Resources and Service Administration. Used with permission.