Shaken Baby Syndrome – American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

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What is shaken baby syndrome?

Shaken baby syndrome (SBS), also identified as non-accidental trauma (NAT) , is a diagnosis that may possibly involve a combination of results such as broken extended bones such as arms or legs, cranium fractures, mind bleeding and retinal hemorrhages. SBS occurs when a baby is shaken repeatedly, generally by a annoyed caretaker in an work to quiet an inconsolable baby. A baby’s head is disproportionately substantial and the blood vessels are fragile, which makes the mind and eyes additional vulnerable to bleeding from a shaking personal injury. Most youngsters who are victims of SBS are below 1 year of age, with several of them becoming below six months of age. Injuries from SBS can guide to lasting visible and developmental disabilities, or even demise.

Why is an eye assessment completed?

The eyes are examined in suspected cases of SBS as aspect of an in general assessment of a baby when abuse is suspected. An eye exam may possibly exhibit bleeding in the back again of the eyes. The bleeding may possibly be over, inside, or under the retina (Figure 1). The levels of the retina may possibly also be split apart as a consequence of the personal injury (retinoschisis). The vitreous, or jelly-like filling within the eye, may possibly also fill with blood.


Fig. 1: Blood vessels in infants are fragile which makes the mind and eyes additional vulnerable to bleeding from non-accidental trauma.

How is the within of the eye examined?

Dilating eye drops are administered to enlarge the pupils of the eyes to make it possible for a view of the retina and vitreous. An indirect ophthalmoscope and a specialized lens are applied to visualize the back again of the eyes. Photos of the back again of the eyes are from time to time taken.

Are other assessments completed to assess for SBS?

An eye assessment by a skilled examiner is aspect of an in general analysis of a baby when abuse is suspected. Other assessments may possibly involve imaging assessments of the mind (CT or MRI), bone x-rays (to check for outdated and new fractures), and a social solutions analysis. Blood assessments may possibly also be completed to check for other disorders such as a bleeding condition. Other experts may possibly also be associated if an additional clinical problem is suspected.

Do infants put up with lasting hurt from shaken baby syndrome?

Retinal hemorrhages generally solve with no remedy, but a vitreous hemorrhage may possibly not. A vitreous hemorrhage can promptly result in amblyopia (“lazy eye”) by blocking the eyesight out of the eye. Medical procedures may possibly be wanted to crystal clear a vitreous hemorrhage in an try to reverse the amblyopia.

Long term hurt to eyesight can also come about as a consequence of direct personal injury to the eye or the mind. Harm to the mind is the most important cause for poor eyesight. Scarring of the retina or atrophy of the optic nerve may possibly exhibit up months following the personal injury and is ordinarily irreversible. Brain personal injury may possibly also guide to developmental delays, seizures, paralysis, and even demise. Just about a quarter of shaken infants can die from their injuries. For any baby suspected to have experienced non-accidental trauma, the doctor is required by law in the US to report the situation to a designated governmental company.

Wherever can I learn additional about shaken baby syndrome?

Updated 05/2020