Shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma


An infant who has been violently shaken will require examinations by multiple healthcare providers in addition to a child abuse specialist.

The following procedure will assist the healthcare provider to diagnose shaken baby syndrome.   

  • Physical examination: In addition to doing an examination, the healthcare provider will inquire about the child’s past medical records. It could take a variety of tests to find injuries.   

Because healthcare providers don’t always have all the facts about whether or not shaking contributed to an infant’s injury, diagnosing shaken baby syndrome can be challenging.   

  • Eye examination:Eye injuries and bleeding within or below the retinas, might be discovered during an examination of the eyes.  
  • Blood tests:Shaken baby syndrome symptoms can also be caused by bleeding and coagulation issues, metabolic and genetic diseases, and other conditions. Some medical conditions can be ruled out with the assistance of blood tests.   
  • Imaging test: To find out if fractures are accidental or intentional, multiple Xrays of the bones may be taken, perhaps of the arms, hands, legs, feet, spine, ribs, and head. These tests can also be used to detect prior fractures.   
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):A child’s brain and spine can be seen in great detail with an MRI by using radio waves and a strong magnetic field. It may display indicators of low oxygen levels, hemorrhage, and bruises on the brain. An MRI is often performed two to three days following the injury since it is challenging to perform on an unsteady child.   
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan:A CT scan provides crosssectional views of the body using Xray imaging. A brain CT scan can be used to identify injuries that require immediate medical attention. If there are any more injuries, a CT scan of the abdomen might be performed.

Based on the severity of the injuries, the baby might require close observation in a pediatric intensive care unit.   


If your child shows any signs of shaken baby syndrome, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. In less severe cases, your child may need hospitalization and medication for monitoring and treatment. In emergency situations where a child has been shaken, medical interventions might include surgery to control bleeding in the brain and the insertion of a breathing tube to assist with respiration. Additionally, medications may be required to manage seizures and reduce brain swelling.