Caregivers and the Shaken Baby Syndrome


Pediatric brain injuries caused by abuse, such as shaking, tend to be more severe if the abuser is a male, This information came from a study of Abusive Head Trauma in Children which found there were an equal number of male and female abusers, but that cases which presented with cardiopulmonary or respiratory arrest or required neurosurgical intervention were the result of a male perpetrator. Further to the risk factors in fatal cases was the mother’s live-in boyfriend as the perpetrator. Approximately one-third of the children in the study had previously been seen by a physician, but potential abuse was not recognized.

Certainly, Dr. Esernio-Jenssen’s study points out the importance of early detection of childhood abuse and aggressive reporting. It also highlights, characteristics of households and caregivers which may give rise to the potential for abuse and hopefully strategies to prevent abuse by caregivers from occurring.

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.
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