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Shaken Baby Syndrome - Essay Example

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Ten years ago a disturbing case broke out in public via the televised trial court of a shaken-baby case involving a British nanny named Louise Woodward of the death of Matthew Eappen in 1997. The case brought public awareness about this complex known as Shaken Baby Syndrome or SBS (Levenson, 2005).
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Shaken Baby Syndrome Essay
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Shaken Baby Syndrome

Accordingly, the possible amount or degree of the damage to the brain it could acquire depends upon the forces and the duration of the shaking or related violent causes.
Research shows that 20% of incidences are fatal after a few days of the injury occurred, while the majority of the survivors are left with several related disabilities (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, 2007). Most common of these disabilities include mental and developmental retardation, blindness, vegetative state, learning disorders and epilepsy (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome).
For example, Christian Joseph Dubisky, a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome, acquired the disease when he was just four months old when he was shook by his father, but survived for few years with such inconvenience, and died in the young age of seven. Diagnosis upon Dubisky included damaged cognitive area, retinal detachment, intermittent gag reflex, inability to eat, osteoporosis, thyroid disorder, and epilepsy (Christian's Shaken Baby, 2007).
To Dr. John Lancon of National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS, 2001), SBS is the constellation of intentional intracranial and ocular hemorrhages occurring in infants and young children. Some quarters believe these are what caused Christian Dubisky's death, although it is said not all the time will the case include hematoma and brain hemorrhage that are the main cause of possible death of the victims (NCSBS, 2001).
Description. Anatomical attributes contribute the susceptibility of an infant for brain damage from SBS. Accordingly, infants with bigger heads, weaker neck and shoulder are prone to the syndrome (Patel & Moorjani, 2005). The violent shaking or any act of cerebral movement disturbance can cause blood vessels inside the brain and behind the eyes to tear and bleed (HealthLink Alberta, 2006).
The syndrome was first described in the medical literature in 1972 where it was reported that 50,000 children in the United States are forcefully shaken by their incapable caretakers every year (Thivierge, 2006). The report said some 60% of this population were boys, because of being hyper in crying, and victims aged from six to eight months old.
Statistics reported that most of the responsible culprits of the cause of the syndrome are men than women by shaking a child. Mostly women who committed such violence are caretakers or any distant relative of the victims. The common reason for such act is seen as being impatient to the inconsolable cry of the infant which is common to babies, and also an action of abuse as a sign of psychological disturbance of the suspect (Thivierge, 2006).
Causes. Shaken Baby Syndrome or SBS is usually caused by non-accidental trauma or intentional child abuse. It is commonly caused by anger or frustration on the part of the caregiver as a response to the baby's persistent crying (PennState Children's Hospital, 2007).
Infants' or babies' heads are more fragile compared to those of adults; their brains are underdeveloped, and neck and muscles are weak, and these are supposed to be supported. The younger the child, the more he is likely to develop SBS, but victims can reach up to the age of five years. It is said that even a few seconds of violent shaking may cause an infant lasting brain damage or even die (HealthLink Alberta, 2006).
Van Vhoorees (2006) claimed that shaken baby syndrome or SBS does not easily conclude from gentle bouncing, ... Read More
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