Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the Unites States and is considered to be completely preventable. This violent non-accidental injury affects 1.98 children in a general population of 100,000 children, with approximately 44% of them being under the age of 1. The precise mechanism of injury is not always clear, but the associated clinical findings and presentation of injuries or trauma is consistent with each case. The prognosis in each case can vary in degrees from no adverse effect to worse case effect, death. Education is paramount. Health care professionals are the key to identifying and educating families that are considered to be high risk for shaken baby syndrome.
SBS, also referred to as shaken impact syndrome, is the result of injuries caused when someone vigorously shakes an infant. The shaking that occurs and causes the brain damage usually only takes 5 to 20 seconds and can often be accompanied by a final impact to the babyÃÂÃÂs head against a bed, chair, or other surfaces.
Although the victims of SBS are usually under the age of one, it can be seen in children up to 4 years old and is seen predominately in males and children who live at or below the poverty level. (Medscape)When an infant is shaken forcibly, its head will rotate uncontrollably because the necks muscles are underdeveloped and provide very little support to the head. These violent movements cause acceleration and deceleration or back and forth thrusts of the brain within the skull; rupturing blood vessels and nerves throughout the brain and tearing brain tissue and causing bruising and bleeding to the brain. This whiplash type injury can cause a variety of common clinical symptoms, to include: poor feeding with a failure to thrive, respiratory problems, irritability,