Shaken baby syndrome

Common Name(s)

Shaken baby syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a serious brain injury in an infant or toddler caused by forceful shaking. Babies do not have the neck strength to hold their heads steady; therefore, shaking a baby can cause the brain to move too much allowing it to hit the skull. This event may cause bruising, swelling and bleeding in the brain and the spine may also be damaged. SBS can cause permanent brain damage or death. Shaken baby syndrome is considered a form of child abuse.

Symptoms of SBS include changed mood, difficultly staying awake, paralysis, or coma. Your baby may have breathing problems and pale or bluish skin. A baby’s eating habits may also change and vomiting and tremors are common. Unseen symptoms include internal bleeding of the brain and broken bones. Some symptoms may not happen right away, but shaken baby syndrome can cause lifelong medical issues. These issues include blindness, hearing loss, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, seizures, or cerebral palsy.

In babies with SBS, the caretakers often have a history of child abuse. If the caretaker is a young or single parent they may be more likely to shake their baby in moments of distress. Caretakers who abuse alcohol or drugs are also at higher risk of shaking the baby as are those under extreme stress. People who have lived in homes with domestic violence or those affected by PTSD are more likely to shake a baby. Men are more likely than women to inflict SBS.

Doctors will diagnose SBS using physical exams, blood tests, and visual scans, such as CT scans, MRIs, or X-rays. Treatment depends on the symptoms and findings but may include breathing support and stopping any bleeding in the brain. If your baby is showing symptoms of SBS, take your child to a hospital immediately. If you think you may be at risk of shaking your baby, reach out for help. If your baby has been diagnosed with SBS, talk to their doctors about the most current treatment options.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Shaken baby syndrome" for support, advocacy or research.

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Shaken baby syndrome" returned 43 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[Shaken baby syndrome: Retcam findings].
 

Author(s): V Coste, C Paya, J Pechmeja, D Smadja, M-N Delyfer, J-F Korobelnik

Journal: J Fr Ophtalmol. 2015 May;38(5):468-9.

 

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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The significance of macrocephaly or enlarging head circumference in infants with the triad: further evidence of mimics of shaken baby syndrome.
 

Author(s): David Miller, Patrick Barnes, Marvin Miller

Journal: Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2015 Jun;36(2):111-20.

 

Infants with the triad (neurologic dysfunction, subdural hematoma [SDH], and retinal hemorrhage) are often diagnosed as victims of shaken baby syndrome. Medical conditions/predisposing factors to developing the triad are often dismissed: short falls, birth-related SDH that enlarges, ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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[Refractory status epilepticus presenting as shaken baby syndrome].
 

Author(s): Andrea Fernandez-Menendez, Raquel Buenache-Espartosa, Ana Coca-Perez, Pablo Morillo-Carnero, Juan Martinez-San Millan, Gustavo Lorenzo-Sanz

Journal: Rev Neurol. 2014 Jun;58(12):548-52.

 

A convulsive status in infants is usually triggered by a febrile syndrome secondary to an intercurrent infection or an infection affecting the central nervous system. Shaken baby syndrome is characterised by its association with bilateral or multifocal haemorrhage, retinal haemorrhage ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Shaken baby syndrome" returned 9 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Traumatic brain injury and shaken baby syndrome.
 

Author(s): Wellingson S Paiva, Matheus S Soares, Robson L O Amorim, A Ferreira de Andrade, Hamilton Matushita, Manoel J Teixeira

Journal: Acta Med Port. ;24(5):805-8.

 

Shaken baby syndrome is a serious form of physical child abuse, which is frequently overlooked. It is defined as vigorous manual shaking of an infant who is being held by the extremities or shoulders, leading to whiplash-induced intracranial and intraocular bleeding and no external ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Shaken baby syndrome: a common variant of non-accidental head injury in infants.
 

Author(s): Jakob Matschke, Bernd Herrmann, Jan Sperhake, Friederike Körber, Thomas Bajanowski, Markus Glatzel

Journal: Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Mar;106(13):211-7.

 

Recent cases of child abuse reported in the media have underlined the importance of unambiguous diagnosis and appropriate action. Failure to recognize abuse may have severe consequences. Abuse of infants often leaves few external signs of injury and therefore merits special diligence, ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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The shaken baby syndrome: an odyssey. II Origins and further hypotheses.
 

Author(s): Ronald H Uscinski, Dennis K McBride

Journal: Neurol. Med. Chir. (Tokyo). 2008 Apr;48(4):151-5; discussion 155-6.

 

Subdural bleeding in the so-called "shaken baby syndrome" is recognized as a hallmark of this syndrome, and is often noted as chronic in nature, indicating an earlier time of origin than clinical presentation. In infants and neonates, the timeframe for generating such chronic intracranial ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

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