Intended for healthcare professionals


Patterns of presentation of the shaken baby syndrome:Subdural and retinal haemorrhages are not necessarily signs of abuse

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 25 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:767
  1. James LeFanu, general practitioner,
  2. Rioch Edwards Brown, director (
  1. Mawbey Brough Health Centre, London SW8 2UD
  2. The Five Percenters, PO Box 23212, London SE14 5WB

    EDITOR—The “serious data gaps, flaws of logic, and inconsistency of case definition” shown up by the evidence based case report of the shaken baby syndrome (p 754) and highlighted in the accompanying editorials (pp 719 and p 720) will be of interest to the many parents who over the past 10 years have maintained that they have been wrongly accused and convicted of causing their children's injuries.13

    Furthermore, the recent evidence emphasised by Geddes and Plunkett that trivial falls and other minor injuries can give rise to the allegedly characteristic signs of subdural and retinal haemorrhages is consistent with a triad of possible alternative explanations for shaken baby syndrome. This triad has emerged from an analysis of 98 …

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