From the July 2004 Idaho Observer:

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Resources for further research:

It has become apparent that anyone who is alone with an infant child who suddenly requires emergency care in a hospital is a candidate for being charged with SBS. It is, therefore, of vital necessity that anyone who is alone with infants be aware of the SBS issue and be fully informed as to the other factors that may cause them to become mortally ill. The following resources will give infant caregivers the information necessary to avoid suspicion, arrest, indictment, conviction and sentencing for being unfortunate enough to be alone with a baby requiring emergency hospitalization.

SBS Conference hosted by Nicholas Regush and Sandy Mintz of -- Group of medical, legal experts, and consultants who represent those falsely accused of abuse by “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” -- from the site: “We represent a cutting-edge group of physicians, medical researchers, biomechanical engineers, legal authorities and falsely accused who are concerned about the present lack of research on childhood head trauma. We believe that the current assumptions regarding the etiology, pathology, and timing of subdural hematomas and retinal hemorrhages need to be further explored.” is the Yurko Project website that posts the entire chronology of the Alan Yurko SBS case and also contains a comprehensive catalogue of SBS-related aritcles and reports. -- the British Medical Journal contains articles on SBS along with a very active forum that rebuts many of its SBS articles. -- A neutral website that attempts to give both the defense and prosecution's views in various cases while citing the difficulties associated with SBS allegations. -- Susan Anthony has compiled a wonderful bibliography of must reads for those who have been falsely accused of SBS. -- Health and wellness website that includes quotes from SBS researchers and stories.


What is a subdural hematoma?

A Subdural Hematoma is a collection of blood that pools under the dura. The dura is a relatively tough connective tissue (collagenous) membrane, about the thickness of parchment paper. It is firmly attached to the under surface of the skull and in the spinal canal it is separated from the bony structure by a layer of fatty tissue. The inner underside of the dura is applied to a much thinner, transparent membrane, the arachnoid, that overlies the brain and subarachnoid space. This interface is easily separated, forming the subdural space. The subdural space and is referred to as a “potential space” because a space is not generally created unless a subdural hematoma or another space occupying mass is formed.

When a subdural hematoma forms, it is generally an indicator of a broken vein on the underlying surface of the brain.

What is a retinal hemorrhage?

Retinal Hemorrhages are small bleeding areas on the back of the eye. Most experts do not agree as to the pattern, number, location, or type of retinal hemorrhages that point to a diagnosis of SBS or other non-accidental trauma.

The mechanism(s) behind retinal hemorrhages in infancy in the context of alleged head trauma are unknown. Most research points to a mechanism involving rapid increases in intracranial pressure, cerebral venous spasm or increased venous pressure, and possibly hypoxia.

Most studies do not support mechanical causes (such as shaking) to be associated with retinal hemmorrhages.

The presence or absence of retinal hemorrhages and/or its characateristics is often used to determine whether or not the case is an accident or due to non-accidental trauma. Sometimes the retinal hemorrhages are accompanied by nerve sheath damage or bleeding in the subdural space of the optic nerve. This finding has been considered an indicator of a greater degree of damage.

Other times the hemorrhages are referred to as dot and blot hemorrhages or petechiae. These are thought to suggest a lesser degree of force. Retinal hemorrhages in SBS cases are most often bilateral, or affecting both eyes.

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