Questionable Evidence: Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome

A man named Dr. John Caffey is commonly credited with the discovery of shaken baby syndrome. His research and the research and hypotheses of several other doctors became the basis for medical evidence in shaken baby syndrome cases. According to these doctors, the presence of subdural hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, and encephalopathy meant that the baby had been shaken [1].

Problems with Shaken Baby Syndrome

In the past few decades, doubts have been cast on the reliability of this hypothesis. Although it is accepted that brain injury and subdural hemorrhaging is caused by impact, it is questioned whether shaking can produce these same results.

  • Take a look at the following:
  • Subdural Hemorrhage: It was rediscovered that the brain has a mechanism that naturally and non-traumatically leaks blood, called the dura. This means that the bleeding that was previously attributed to trauma could also be explained by leaky blood vessels.
  • Retinal Hemorrhage: Although retinal hemorrhaging was initially considered a “cardinal manifestation of abusive head injury” [2], it has been shown since to be controversial, if not improbable.
  • Encephalopathy: The presence of a certain pattern of brain injury used to lead medical examiners to believe that shaking was the cause of the damage. It has been shown that this damage is more likely to stem from inadequate blood flow rather than from trauma.

Accused? Call the Law Office of Lorin J. Zaner.

Being accused of injuring your child or a child you were taking care of is a terrifying experience. Although much evidence has come to light in recent years that has cast doubt on what used to immediately lead prosecutors to the conclusion that the infant suffered from shaken baby syndrome, accusations of this form of abuse can land you in serious legal trouble. With a knowledgeable defense attorney on your side, you can rest knowing that your rights are being upheld and that all evidence will be examined from a fair standpoint. With a scientific background, Attorney Lorin Zaner has the experience and knowledge you need to fight for a just outcome on your behalf. He has represented many individuals facing “Shaken Baby Syndrome” charges and has obtained successful results!

Contact the Law Office of Lorin J. Zaner today to learn more about your legal options.

[1] Finnie JW, Manavis J, Blumbergs PC, Diffuse neuronal perikaryal amyloid precursor protein immunoreactivity in an ovine model of non-accidental head injury (the shaken baby syndrome); Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 17 (2010) 237–240 citing American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. Shaken baby syndrome: inflicted cerebral trauma. Pediatrics 1993;92:872–5.

[2] Wyngnanski-Jaffe T, Morad Y, Levin AV, Pathology of retinal hemorrhage in abusive head trauma, Forensic Sci Med Pathol (2009) 5:291–297 DOI 10.1007/s12024-009-9134-4