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Monatsschr Kinderheilkd. 1991 May;139(5):292-6.

[Trauma caused by shaking the infant--a special form of child abuse].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Pädiatrie, Medizinische Universität zu Lübeck.


The shaking of infants is an often underestimated cause of head-injuries in children. Without any external signs the diagnosis can be missed. The combination of subdural hematoma of typically interhemispheric site and retinal bleeding is pathognomonic of the shaked-baby syndrome. It is caused by acceleration-deceleration movements of the head. We present three patients with whiplash-shaken-injuries who were admitted to our hospital with impaired consciousness or in coma. With little external signs of injury more detailed investigations revealed other, older injuries suggesting previous abuse. The outcome was not favourable. Two of the children were discharged with minor or mild psychomotor retardation and one child was severely handicapped. As in the battered-child-syndrome a good history, assessing child specific and familial risk-factors and the socioeconomic background are most important to confirm a diagnosis. This type of injury is usually part of the spectrum of child abuse.

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