Imagine two scenarios. The first is that you witness a massive car accident on a California highway which results in the cars being crushed, broken glass everywhere and people - including an unconscious infant being rushed away by ambulance. The second situation involves a grown woman holding an infant by her chest, shaking here back and forth several times to stop her from crying - and she succeeds - meaning the baby stops crying - and then the woman puts the child back in the crib, where she quietly sleeps. Which child should you be more concerned about? The answer may surprise you, but it is the quietly sleeping baby who has been shaken - and for a number of reasons. First, the baby who has been in the car accident will receive sudden emergency care. The baby in the crib will not. If there is any problem with the baby in the accident, she will have it taken care of right away, while the baby who was shaken will not. Head injuries treated quickly, heal quickly. Delay in treatment results in delays in the brain. Second, even assuming the baby in the crib eventually gets treatment, it may not be the right kind of treatment. Why? Because people who shake babies are often trying to hide their behavior, or are a non-offending parent who was not present and does not know that an injury was inflicted, so an incomplete and/or inaccurate history will be given to the doctor. This may cause the doctor to provide incomplete treatment, depending on the type of injury - because some histories are suspicious for abuse and doctors should know this. A child who comes in from an accident scene, though, will have an accurate history provided by witnesses to the crash. There are seldom witnesses to child abuse. Third, the type of force applied to an infant's brain can be very different from the force applied during shaking, or the infliction of abusive head trauma. The force from a car crash is often different from the force applied during an abusive incident. First, the force from an accident will often be applied to the brain in a straight and direct manner. This is called "Translational". This will cause the brain to move forward and backward. Often, depending on what occurs during the crash, only one time. In abusive head trauma, the force is often "rotational", and the forces are applied from more than one direction. This causes disruption - or shearing - of the connective axonal neurons that facilitate brain function. If these are disrupted, the brain will never function properly.
If you have a question about the manner in which your child's abusive head injury was caused, feel free to contact the Keane Law Firm for a free analysis. We have a pediatric specialist on staff to perform the free analysis. Also, if you have questions about your child's prognosis, we can perform the same analysis for you, as well.
Call toll-free at 888-592-KIDS (5437)