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Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrom

Date: August 12, 2013 Categories: Blog

Last Thursday, Dr. Neha Mehta gave a presentation on Abusive Head Trauma to members of the Multi-Disciplinary Team. Dr. Mehta, who is the medical director of the Audrey Hepburn CARE Center, Children’s Hospital, New Orleans, presented to members of Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Gretna Police Department, Department of Children and Family Services and the District Attorney’s office. The presentation was designed to help the audience understand what Abusive Head Trauma is, how to investigate abusive head trauma and what the role of the clinical pediatrician is.

Abusive Head Trauma, also known as Shaken Baby Syndrome, occurs when a caregiver shakes, or otherwise physically abuses a baby out of frustration. Abusive Head Trauma diagnosis relies heavily on whether or not the provided history is consistent with the type of injury a baby has, and whether or not the injury was the result of an accident.

Because the injuries resulting from Abusive Head Trauma can be subtle, it is important to be aware of the signs. For example, there is no such thing as a “killer couch.” If a child is brought to a doctor with bruising or injury in places such as the genitals or trunk and the caregiver says that the infant “fell off a couch,” there is cause for speculation. Typically, if a child is too young to “cruise,” then they are too young to “bruise.”

Thanks so much to Dr. Mehta for her presentation!

For more information on AHT/SBS, click here!