Intended for healthcare professionals


Brain haemorrhage in babies may not indicate violent abuse

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:616

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  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    Dural and subdural haemorrhaging in infants, often considered by the courts to be a sure indicator of violent abuse, may be due to nothing of the sort, according to new research that is already affecting the outcome of criminal cases. The authors argue that the term “shaken baby syndrome,” with its implicit assumption of violence, should be abandoned in favour of less loaded language.

    The research, in the current issue of the journal Neuropathol-ogy and Applied Neurobiology (2003;29:14-22), was a key factor in the recent acquittal of a Scottish childminder. Tina McLeod, aged 40, was released …

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