Brain Damage and shaken baby syndrome
* Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a child in frustration or anger, often because the child won't stop crying. Permanent brain damage or death may result.
* Symptoms include irritability, difficulty staying awake, seizures, abnormal breathing, poor eating, bruises, and vomiting.
* Treatment will vary depending on complications related to shaken baby syndrome. In rare instances, breathing support or surgery may be needed to stop bleeding in the brain.
- Subdural hematoma, which is a collection of blood between the surface of the brain and the dura (the tough, fibrous outer membrane surrounding the brain.) This occurs when the veins that bridge from the brain to the dura are stretched beyond their elasticity, causing tears and bleeding.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is bleeding between the arachnoid (web-like membrane surrounding the brain filled with spinal fluid) and the brain.
- Direct trauma to the brain substance itself, caused when the brain strikes the inner surfaces of the skull.
- Shearing off or breakage of nerve cell branches (axons) in the cortex and deeper structures of the brain caused by violent motion to the brain.
- Further irreversible damage to the brain substance from the lack of oxygen if the child stops breathing during shaking.
- Further damage to the brain cells when injured nerve cells release chemicals that add to oxygen deprivation to the brain.
Pictures of Shaken Baby Syndrome