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Diagnosis of “shaken baby syndrome” still valid, appeal court rules

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7511.253 (Published 28 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:253
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The role of the three classic signs of “shaken baby syndrome” in diagnosing intentional head injury was endorsed by the Court of Appeal last week in a test case aimed at casting doubt on their validity.

    Lawyers for four people convicted of killing or causing grievous bodily harm by shaking babies in their care argued that new research had cast doubt on the link between shaking and the triad of injuries—encephalopathy, subdural haemorrhages, and retinal haemorrhages—traditionally regarded as diagnostic of shaken baby syndrome.

    They cited papers by neuropathologist Jennian Geddes and colleagues that hypothesised that the triad could be …

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