Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 253–255 | Cite as

“Shaken baby syndrome” and forensic pathology

  • Christopher Spencer Greeley

The controversy [1] that has surrounded abusive head trauma (AHT) for the past decade is, at its core, fabricated. The premise that the vigorous shaking of an infant is dangerous to that infant is agreed upon by all but the most adamant critics. The complex features of AHT are often disparagingly distilling simply to “The Triad”; a term devoid of any real clinical meaning and not used at all in practice. There are two primary drivers of the current debate over AHT. Firstly, there are alternative hypotheses that have seemingly been developed primarily for use in court, as opposed to a clinical or scientific need. These theories serve to create confusion in the courtroom and distract attention from AHT as a cause of injury or death. Secondly, the medical literature is misused in ways to create an illusion of evidence to support these novel and tangential theories. This misuse results in a mélange of support for otherwise speculative theories that are often unrecognizable to clinicians...


Retinal Hemorrhage Pyloric Stenosis Whiplash Injury Abusive Head Trauma Subdural Hemorrhage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Dr. Greeley is supported by Award Number K23HD065872 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine, MSB2.106University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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