Shaken Baby Syndrome

What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Children’s Protective Services (CPS) and a few remaining doctors in Michigan sometimes use the term “Shaken Baby Syndrome” (SBS) to describe an unexplained head injury. In this context, the head injury is meant to imply head trauma. The medical community has mostly abandoned the words “Shaken Baby Syndrome” for more general ones, such as “abusive head trauma” and “intentionally inflicted injury.” Our CPS defense team frequently hears allegations about these “non- accidental injuries” (NAI) cases. 

Part of the reason Children’s Protective Services doctors, sometimes called a Child Protection Team of doctors, would describe certain medical issues as Shaken Baby Syndrome is because they claim to practice a mix of patient care and forensic medicine. The beginning of that problem is that forensic medicine is largely practiced for the benefit of the legal system. In many cases, that translates to being for the benefit of police, prosecutors, or Children’s Protective Services.

This is your sign to be very wary of child protection doctors. (Interestingly, those very same doctors from the American Board of Pediatrics created for themselves a new medical specialty in that field called a certification for child abuse pediatrics.)  This new certificate is used to bolster the credibility of doctors that testify primarily for CPS. Baby in hospital bed

The theory behind Shaken Baby Syndrome is that violently shaking a young child can cause subdural hematoma or subarachnoid hemorrhage with or without a cervical spine injury being present. In oversimplified terms, that means bleeding of the brain. Eye hemorrhages are also present in many cases. The classic symptoms are bleeding in both eyes, bleeding beneath the skull, and brain injury.

While the theory has not changed much over the years, it’s important for parents and attorneys to understand why medical experts have been moving away from using the term Shaken Baby Syndrome. There have been so many successful legal challenges to the classic Shaken Baby Syndrome theories, and these scientific challenges have led to prosecution losses in the courtroom. Because of this, the medical community has intentionally changed their approach to both diagnosis and courtroom testimony in Shaken Baby cases. 

They now use general terms that can be harder to challenge, such as “abusive head injury” or “intentionally inflicted injury.” The testimony is usually that while being shaken back and forth, the child’s brain hit the inside of the skull and then bounced and hit the other side of its skull. This is alleged to be the cause of the brain injury. Many biomechanical engineers, using the law of physics, think that this is unlikely or impossible to have occurred.

The Best Shaken Baby Syndrome Defense Attorneys

Sick baby in hospital hooked up to monitors and with an arm in a cast

Because of the problems that have arisen with Shaken Baby Syndrome in the courtroom, child abuse pediatricians today stay away from the term. Now, the problem isn’t the use of the term Shaken Baby Syndrome, but that there are many pediatricians who still believe in the theories even though they don’t use those words and don’t admit to it. What does this mean in the courtroom? 

It means that these Children’s Protective Services doctors (Child Protection Team) and prosecuting attorneys will continue to try to prove Shaken Baby Syndrome, but they will mask it as something like “abusive head injury.” This creates a problem for inexperienced defense attorneys and an even bigger problem for the parents of children with head injuries. Of course, it is equally problematic for juries to understand.  

The sad truth is that innocent parents are accused of Shaken Baby Syndrome all the time, and they are underrepresented by lawyers that have little experience fighting false Shaken Baby Syndrome or child abuse allegations. Parents facing these child abuse allegations need the support of highly qualified attorneys that have extensive training in fighting these false allegations by Children’s Protective Services. Your defense team must often include expert witnesses in many fields and an aggressive defense lawyer.

It is devastating to you, to your family, and mostly to your child for you to be accused of hurting your child by Shaken Baby allegations. Shaken Baby Syndrome carries with it the possibility of criminal charges, loss of parental rights, and loss of custody over your child(ren). With consequences as life-altering and terrifying as these, quickly seek the best and most aggressive defense lawyers that you can afford. Our Children’s Protective Services defense attorneys here at The Kronzek Firm have been defending parents all over the Lower Peninsula of Michigan against false abuse accusations for decades.

Our experience with medically complex litigation is extremely valuable with cases involving Shaken Baby Syndrome and other non-accidental injury (NAI) charges. When the prevailing assumption is child abuse, we bring in medical experts and other professionals to assist the judge and jury in understanding the complex medical explanations of injuries.

The Kronzek Firm attorneys can help and protect you. Call today and meet with one of our many great Children’s Protective Services defense attorneys for a free consultation and confidential discussion of your case. Your future and your child’s future are at stake. If you have been accused of any non-accidental injury or Shaken Baby Syndrome here in Michigan, you don’t have time to wait. Call us at 1 (866) 766 5245.  Our Children’s Protective Services defense team is available 24/7 for those needing to hire an attorney for emergency and crisis intervention.