Shaken Baby Syndrome – American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

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What is shaken infant syndrome?

Shaken infant syndrome (SBS), also regarded as non-accidental trauma (NAT) , is a analysis that could incorporate a blend of results such as damaged lengthy bones this sort of as arms or legs, skull fractures, brain bleeding and retinal hemorrhages. SBS occurs when a infant is shaken repeatedly, generally by a frustrated caretaker in an energy to peaceful an inconsolable infant. A baby’s head is disproportionately significant and the blood vessels are fragile, which will make the brain and eyes much more inclined to bleeding from a shaking damage. Most children who are victims of SBS are beneath a single calendar year of age, with many of them getting beneath 6 months of age. Accidents from SBS can direct to everlasting visual and developmental disabilities, or even death.

Why is an eye assessment done?

The eyes are examined in suspected cases of SBS as section of an over-all assessment of a baby when abuse is suspected. An eye test could show bleeding in the again of the eyes. The bleeding could be above, in, or under the retina (Figure one). The layers of the retina could also be split aside as a final result of the damage (retinoschisis). The vitreous, or jelly-like filling inside of the eye, could also fill with blood.


Fig. one: Blood vessels in toddlers are fragile which will make the brain and eyes much more inclined to bleeding from non-accidental trauma.

How is the inside of of the eye examined?

Dilating eye drops are administered to enlarge the pupils of the eyes to allow for a watch of the retina and vitreous. An indirect ophthalmoscope and a specialized lens are made use of to visualize the again of the eyes. Images of the again of the eyes are often taken.

Are other exams done to appraise for SBS?

An eye assessment by a properly trained examiner is section of an over-all analysis of a infant when abuse is suspected. Other exams could incorporate imaging exams of the brain (CT or MRI), bone x-rays (to test for old and new fractures), and a social services analysis. Blood exams could also be done to test for other ailments this sort of as a bleeding disorder. Other specialists could also be concerned if another healthcare condition is suspected.

Do toddlers go through everlasting destruction from shaken infant syndrome?

Retinal hemorrhages generally take care of devoid of procedure, but a vitreous hemorrhage could not. A vitreous hemorrhage can swiftly result in amblyopia (“lazy eye”) by blocking the eyesight out of the eye. Surgical procedures could be essential to obvious a vitreous hemorrhage in an endeavor to reverse the amblyopia.

Permanent destruction to eyesight can also come about as a final result of immediate damage to the eye or the brain. Damage to the brain is the most important cause for very poor eyesight. Scarring of the retina or atrophy of the optic nerve could show up months after the damage and is typically irreversible. Brain damage could also direct to developmental delays, seizures, paralysis, and even death. Practically a quarter of shaken infants can die from their accidents. For any baby suspected to have endured non-accidental trauma, the doctor is demanded by legislation in the US to report the case to a designated governmental company.

Where can I understand much more about shaken infant syndrome?

Up-to-date 05/2020