Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Inflicted trauma (especially shaken baby syndrome) is a leading cause of childhood (especially infant) mortality.
There are several risk factors associated with an increased risk for shaken baby syndrome.
Multiple behavioral symptoms and physical signs enable physicians to establish the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome.
Successful treatment for shaken baby syndrome demands accurate diagnosis and removal of the infant (and any siblings) from the household in which the abuse occurred. Then, supportive care provides the mainstay of medical management.
Some victims of shaken baby syndrome may have either long-term or permanent consequences due to the type of abuse they experience.
Classes for parents discussing normal infant temperament and behavior may help expectant mothers and fathers have realistic expectations, thereby lessening the stress of their newborn's frustrating conduct.
What is shaken baby syndrome?
Dr. Robert Reece provided one definition of shaken baby syndrome (also called the shaken impact
syndrome). He described the syndrome as "the
constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking
and impacting the head of an
infant or small
child." The alternative descriptive
phrase "abusive head trauma" serves as an umbrella term implying injury to the
skull, brain, and spinal cord as a result of shaking and/or trauma to the head.
Implicit in any terminology is that an adult purposefully inflicts such trauma
on the infant. Recent literature cites the extraordinary statistic that 40% of
childhood deaths as a consequence of child abuse involve children less than 12
months of age. Of these lethal events, inflicted head trauma is the primary
cause of such mortality. Amazingly, the most frequent etiology (cause) of fatal
head injury to children below 2 years of age is inflicted head trauma. Inflicted
head trauma is a subset of the larger problem of child abuse (lethal and nonlethal). Unfortunately,
solid statistics are limited regarding the incidence of shaken baby syndrome. This partially
is due to various terms used in medical
and hospital records as well as under-recognition of shaken baby syndrome since
symptoms and signs may be more subtle than those of general body injury seen in
globally battered children. CDC statistics reflect the broad problem of physical
violence against children, reporting approximately 122,500 victims, of whom 840
died. Of those who died, 60% were boys.