John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Sunday, February 15, 2009
  SBS research
Another piece of significant reporting today is that linked about SBS. Basically they looked at 55 babies who died in hospital from symptoms equivalent to SBS.

What this demonstrated (which was already known for Glutaric Aciduria) is that there are natural circumstances under which the SBS triad occur and that without other evidence (eg bruises) that the SBS triad of bleeding in the brain and retinas and a shortage of oxygen is not sufficient to "prove" that a baby has been shaken.

The case mentioned just above is one what I have helped write documents for the Court of Appeal. This key report (which I need to properly source) will be very important to that case. There are also a number of people wrongly imprisoned based upon the flawed evidence of SBS.

Post Script:
I have since been in touch with the researchers who indicate that they did not check for the triad, but instead for Sub Dural Haematomae (one aspect of the triad) which was found in 36 cases. However, this is still important even if not as significant as what was originally reported.

What they did was an observation of routine practice and not research (they did not research into the causes, they just pointed out at the coexistence and research NEEDS to be done now). Two thirds of the babies (both neonates and fetuses) had subdural haemorrhage and the majority of those also had brain hypoxia (lack of oxygen). They do not know about the retinas in these cases but they know that Retinal Haemorrhages have been seen after 31 and 58 days post partum (the latter in a ventouse extraction). The significance of the observation is that there are many more natural occurrences of at least 2 of the triad together in young babies which should make society cautious about the causes. In many of their cases they were not sure as to the cause and we think that in the others there is a variety of causes.

In essence there are a number of routes (including shaking) that lead to the SBS triad.

Publication on the net
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19007301
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126931.800-the-%20pathologist-challenging-shaken-baby-syndrome.html?full=true
 
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