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Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome Causes

Non-accidental trauma or child abuse causes SBS this happens when an angry parent or caregiver shakes a baby in response to constant crying. In some cases this happens when tossing the baby in the air or jogging with a baby in a backpack.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Definition

This syndrome is a type of child abuse that is thought to rise when the abuser brutally shakes an infant or a small child that creates a whiplash kind of motion that results to the acceleration-decelaration injuries. The distinctive lack of external evidence of trauma is a remarkable feature of SBS.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnosis

Physician may initially suspect SBS if caregivers give vague or changing information about what happened to the sick child. Oftentimes it is hard to treat SBS for the reason that there are no clear signs of abuse. Physicians ask for the victim's medical history, physical exam and blood tests are done. Imaging tests are also done such as CT scan, x-rays or MRI for injury and bleeding problems. Other test may include lumbar puncture to check if there is blood in the spinal fluid.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

Known symptoms are irritability, changes in eating patterns, failure to thrive, lethargy, seizures, vomiting, tense or swelling fontanels, increased size of the head, altered respirations and diluted pupils. Symptoms like fractures of the ribs and vertebrae may also be related to SBS.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Treatment

For severe head injury immediate medical attention is needed. If the victim is vomiting and there is no spinal injury turn the head to the side to prevent choking and aspiration.

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