Experts cast doubt on shaken baby theories

Medical experts have cast further doubt on the diagnosis of
“shaken baby syndrome”, which is often cited as
evidence of child abuse, writes Craig Kenny.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, doctors argued that
bleeding from the eyes alone is not sufficient evidence to conclude
that a child has been shaken hard – contrary to recent

A paper by the American pathologist Dr Patrick Lantz cites the case
of a 14-month-old baby who died after a television fell on his
head. There was retinal bleeding and evidence of an accident was
ignored. His older brother was wrongly taken into care.

Violent shaking should be indicated only when there is damage and
bleeding in the brain along with retinal bleeding, writes Brian
Harding, a neuropathologist from Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Damage to the neck or spinal cord and gripping injuries would give
further confirmation.

Relevant links to British Medical Journal:;328/7442/754

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