Child abuse and brain injuries

Police are called to a residence in which an infant is non-responsive. EMTs arrived at the scene and tried to
resuscitate the child to no avail. The parents explained that the infant had been on a changing table, when he
rolled off, failing head first onto the tile floor. The father stated that he stepped away just for a second to
retrieve a new box of diaper. The mother stated that she was in another room and came running when she
heard the impact. The parents further explained that the infant did not cry or make any noises after the impact,
hence they called for paramedics. The distance from the top of the changing table to the floor was
approximately 3 feet. Both parents denied any child abuse and stated that they deeply loved their child.
During autopsy it was found that the infant had white matter contusion tears. The infant died as a result of a
subdural hematoma and DAI (diffuse axonal injury). There was a contusion on front of the skull, galeal, and a
linear skull fracture. Absent during the autopsy was an evidence of subarachnoid hemorrhages, retinal
hemorrhages, neck injuries, or any other injuries. One interesting observation was that the child has a case of
Was the child a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome? Explain your rationale using the assigned readings as well
as and external research. Spitz, W. U., & Spitz, D. J. (2006). Spitz and Fisher’s medicolegal investigation of
death: Guidelines for the application of pathology to crime investigation. Charles C Thomas Publisher.

Sample Solution