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Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma

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Pediatric abusive head trauma, also known as shaken baby syndrome, is a devastating form of abuse. It occurs when a young child is violently shaken. The repeated shaking back and forth motion causes the child’s brain to bounce within the skull, resulting in bruising and swelling. This intentionally inflicted injury causes trauma to the head and neck region, including cranial, cerebral, and spinal injuries. It occurs in infants and small children because the muscles of the neck region aren’t strong enough to go against the shaking force that occurs. Some make a complete recovery; others are left with debilitating handicaps, and in some cases death occurs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), states that among all the forms of child abuse, head trauma is the leading cause of death and disability and is the most preventable. Pediatric abusive head trauma has a greater mortality and morbidity than any other form of physical abuse. Early recognition and accurate diagnosis are essential for children that present with this traumatic injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), the incidence of pediatric abusive head trauma vary, but most range from 20 to 30 cases per 100,000 children under 1 year of age. The incidence rate is noted to decrease with the increasing age of the child. The incidence is substantially higher with children 1 year of age and younger. The purpose of this paper is to discuss pediatric abusive head trauma, its physical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment, outcome and prognosis, and prevention and education. Physical Manifestations Varying physical manifestations are present in abusive head trauma. There are usually many defining characteristics. Immediately the... ... middle of paper ... ...uate utah’s shaken baby prevention program. Academic Pediatrics, 10(6), 389-394. doi:10.1016/j.acap.2010.08.005 Meskauskas, L., Beaton, K., & Meservey, M. (2009). Preventing shaken baby syndrome: a multidisciplinary response to six tragedies. Nursing For Women’s Health, 13(4), 325-330. doi:10.1111/j.1751-486X.2009.01442.x Mraz, M. (2009). The physical manifestations of shaken baby syndrome. Journal Of Forensic Nursing, 5(1), 26-30. Doi:10.1111/j.1939-3938.2009.01027.x Parks, S., Annest, J., Hill, H., & Karch, D. (2012). Pediatric abusive head trauma: recommended definitions for public health surveillance and research. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for injury Prevention and control. Stoll, B., & Anderson, J. K. (2013). Prevention of abusive head trauma: a literature review. Pediatric Nursing, 39(6), 300-308.
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