Tuesday, 11 May 2010

More Cases of Infant Brain Injury During a Recession

The recession has claimed numerous victims, but its most innocent victims could be those babies who are looking at a lifetime of mental retardation and learning disabilities. These are babies who have suffered moderate to severe brain injury, as a result of being shaken by a parent. It's a well-known syndrome called Shaken Baby Syndrome, and during the recession, has spread its influence significantly.

A research group consisting of pediatricians has presented a report at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Vancouver. According to the report, there was a significant increase in the number of infants injured by Shaking Baby Syndrome as the recession began. The researchers analyzed data from 512 cases of head injury in infants. The data came from for child trauma care centers in Columbus and Cincinnati in Ohio, Seattle and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. They found that there had been an increase in children being rushed to emergency rooms with SBS-related brain injuries.

As of December 1, 2007, there were 9.3 such cases per month, compared to six per month before December 1, 2007. In fact in the three years before 2007, such rates had remained consistent. While researchers are not really surprised that abuse of children brought on by parents too stressed to cope, increased during the recession, they have been surprised at the substantial increase.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is one of the worst forms of child abuse. Typically, the child is picked up by the torso, and shaken violently from side to side. This violent shaking results in the brain bouncing about in the skull. There may be a variety of brain injuries that result, including bruising, swelling and bleeding. The damage can be serious even if the shaking lasted for just a few seconds.

Approximately 80% of children who survive Shaken Baby Syndrome are left with developmental disabilities or mental retardation. Often, a baby that is being shaken violently from side to side, may hit its head against a hard surface, like a wall. This can cause symptoms to worsen.

The risk of brain injury in a child is extremely high because babies’ brains are softer and more delicate. They have little sense of balance in their neck and head regions, and their neck muscles are still weak, which means their heads shake very violently during such incidents.

There is still no treatment for this type of brain injury, and all doctors can do is limit the extent of the damage. California brain injury lawyers would advise parents and caregivers to get the help they need, if they find themselves stressed, and unable to cope with parenting.

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