November 28, 2022

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Shaken Baby Syndrome – American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

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What is shaken baby syndrome?

Shaken baby syndrome (SBS), also acknowledged as non-accidental trauma (NAT) , is a analysis that may possibly include a blend of results including damaged long bones such as arms or legs, skull fractures, mind bleeding and retinal hemorrhages. SBS happens when a baby is shaken repeatedly, typically by a discouraged caretaker in an work to quiet an inconsolable baby. A baby’s head is disproportionately massive and the blood vessels are fragile, which makes the mind and eyes much more prone to bleeding from a shaking injury. Most kids who are victims of SBS are less than one particular 12 months of age, with many of them currently being less than 6 months of age. Accidents from SBS can direct to long term visual and developmental disabilities, or even loss of life.

Why is an eye evaluation performed?

The eyes are examined in suspected circumstances of SBS as aspect of an in general evaluation of a youngster when abuse is suspected. An eye exam may possibly present bleeding in the back again of the eyes. The bleeding may possibly be above, within, or underneath the retina (Figure 1). The layers of the retina may possibly also be break up aside as a consequence of the injury (retinoschisis). The vitreous, or jelly-like filling inside the eye, may possibly also fill with blood.


Fig. 1: Blood vessels in babies are fragile which makes the mind and eyes much more prone to bleeding from non-accidental trauma.

How is the inside of the eye examined?

Dilating eye drops are administered to enlarge the pupils of the eyes to permit a look at of the retina and vitreous. An oblique ophthalmoscope and a specialized lens are utilised to visualize the back again of the eyes. Images of the back again of the eyes are occasionally taken.

Are other tests performed to assess for SBS?

An eye evaluation by a properly trained examiner is aspect of an in general analysis of a baby when abuse is suspected. Other tests may possibly include imaging tests of the mind (CT or MRI), bone x-rays (to check out for old and new fractures), and a social services analysis. Blood tests may possibly also be performed to check out for other circumstances such as a bleeding ailment. Other specialists may possibly also be involved if one more professional medical ailment is suspected.

Do babies go through long term hurt from shaken baby syndrome?

Retinal hemorrhages typically resolve without the need of treatment, but a vitreous hemorrhage may possibly not. A vitreous hemorrhage can swiftly bring about amblyopia (“lazy eye”) by blocking the eyesight out of the eye. Surgical procedures may possibly be wanted to distinct a vitreous hemorrhage in an try to reverse the amblyopia.

Permanent hurt to eyesight can also arise as a consequence of immediate injury to the eye or the mind. Harm to the mind is the principal cause for inadequate eyesight. Scarring of the retina or atrophy of the optic nerve may possibly present up months right after the injury and is usually irreversible. Brain injury may possibly also direct to developmental delays, seizures, paralysis, and even loss of life. Almost a quarter of shaken infants can die from their accidents. For any youngster suspected to have suffered non-accidental trauma, the health practitioner is necessary by legislation in the US to report the case to a selected governmental agency.

Wherever can I discover much more about shaken baby syndrome?

Up-to-date 05/2020