The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2021 , Vol 63 , Num 1
Shaken baby syndrome resulting in death: a case series
Mucahit Oruç 1 ,Ahmet Sedat Dündar 1 ,Hasan Okumuş 2 ,Mümine Görmez 3 ,Emine Türkmen Şamdancı 4 ,Osman Celbiş 1
1 Departments of Forensic Medicine, İnonu University Faculty of Medicine, Malatya
2 Council of Forensic Medicine, Malatya Group Administration, Malatya
3 Department of Medical Pathology, Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa University Faculty of Medicine, Tokat, Turkey
4 Departments of Medical Pathology, İnonu University Faculty of Medicine, Malatya
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.01.004 Background. The aim of this study was to raise the awareness of all healthcare personnel, primarily Emergency Department physicians, forensic physicians, and paediatricians about cases of shaken baby syndrome (SBS), which can be difficult to diagnose, require a high level of suspicion in diagnosis and there is a high likelihood of missed diagnosis.

Methods. A retrospective examination was made of 3400 forensic cases applied with autopsy between 2012 and 2018 to the Forensic Medicine Institution of Malatya Group Directorate.

Results. Of the total cases, 113 were aged <2 years and head trauma was determined in 35. Eight cases were determined as SBS. Of the 8 cases that resulted in death, 75% were male and the mean age was 8.3 months. The trauma had been perpetrated by the father in 50% of cases. There was a history of seizure in 67.5% of the infants and 75% were taken to the Emergency Department with cardiopulmonary arrest. Subdural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage were determined in 37.5% of the cases, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracranial hemorrhage in 50%, and epidural hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage in 12.5%. In the microscopic examination of the medulla spinalis, focal subdural fresh bleeding was seen in 50% of cases. Bleeding around the optic nerves was determined in 37.5% of cases bilaterally and in 37.5% unilaterally. Retinal hemorrhage was determined in all the cases, which was bilateral in 75%.

Conclusions. The actual worldwide incidence of SBS is not known, and in Turkey, it is thought to be much higher than has been determined. The most important reason for this is thought to be that the diagnosis of child abuse is difficult and physicians do not have a sufficient level of knowledge. Keywords : shaken baby syndrome, autopsy, death

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