The lifetime cost of the United States' Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome) cases in 2010 was an estimated $13.5 billion. Government sources paid an estimated $1.3 billion. When a child survives AHT, families, providers and caregivers can expect "a lifetime of potentially costly and life-threatening care needs." These needs can include mobility devices, prescription medications and physical therapy, just to name a few.

Prevention programs most importantly SAVE LIVES but also result in cost savings. "Out-of-pocket benefits of existing prevention programming would exceed its costs if it prevents 2% of cases."

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is proud to have participated in this important study most recently published in the Prevention Science Journal in July 2017. This study provides the first well-founded U.S. estimate of lifetime costs associated with AHT.

Read the abstract to this study on the Springer Link website by clicking this button: Read Abstract

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John Leventhal, MD, Yale School of Medicine, and George Edwards, MD, University of Texas, recently published an article in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) titled Flawed Theories to Explain Child Physical Abuse : What Are the Medical-Legal Consequences? The article states that "there is no significant controversy about the diagnosis of physical abuse and abusive head trauma in clinical medicine" and claims that defense witnesses in Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) cases often use "scientifically unsupported theories to explain abuse."

"When defense witnesses have decided to cite opinions that are not real diagnoses, or when they cherry pick information by looking at half a child's findings and ignoring the other half, it's upsetting," said Dr. Leventhal. ""This is not how physicians work. We try to understand symptoms, look at physical findings, do laboratory tests, and come up with a specific scientific diagnosis."

Diagnosing abuse is a difficult task that requires a team of professionals. James Metz, MD, Seattle Children's Hospital, uses a multitiered approach to gather facts before a diagnosis of abuse can be reached. This approach involves consulting with radiology, lab work, patient examinations and gathering history from family members. The science behind the Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)/AHT diagnosis is sound. Dr. Metz compares the debate over the SBS diagnosis with the one on climate change. "A large majority of the scientific community has an overwhelming opinion about the science, while a very few loud people object, raising doubts in people's minds." Dr. Metz agrees that a thoughtful debate that pushes science ahead is helpful, "but when the science is irrefutable, or well documented, the debate does it an injustice," he said.

Read full article on Medscape by clicking this button: Medscape Article

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A new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics shows that the vast majority of physicians in the United States (U.S.) agree that Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a valid diagnosis. The study surveyed 628 multidisciplinary physicians at 10 leading children's hospitals in the U.S. who are frequently involved in the evaluation of injured children. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of respondents stated that SBS is a valid diagnosis, and 93% of respondents confirmed Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) as a valid diagnosis.

The study's findings refute the popular claim of a "controversy" surrounding the SBS/AHT diagnosis that is often reported in the media and cited in the courtroom. "Claims of substantial controversy within the medical community about shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma have created a chilling effect on child protection hearings and criminal prosecutions," says Sandeep Narang, MD, JD, lead author on the study, Division Head of Child Abuse Pediatrics at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics-Child Abuse at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Our data show that shaking a young child is generally accepted by physicians to be a dangerous form of abuse."

You can read a full story on the report on the following sites: Science Daily, EurekAlert!, and the Daily Mail.

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