The Fifth International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma
The Fifth International Conference offered participants exciting new research taking place in the field, the unique challenges investigators and prosecutors are now facing, and what others are doing in their community to educate and prevent SBS/AHT.
A pre-conference Prevention Institute highlighted a new crying campaign, "The Period of PURPLE Crying" to educate parents and professionals on coping with a crying infant. Presented by Dr. Ronald Barr, MDCM, FRCPC, and Karen Coleman, parent representative, this program gave new meaning to the word "Colic", and help for parents who deal with inconsolable crying.
Dr. Barr's research explores infant crying patterns and explains what is normal and expected, as well as dispels myths about crying. Karen spoke on the trials of being a new parent with an inconsolable crying infant. She discussed her trigger points, her feelings and the challenges she faced during this time in her baby's life.
A family reception was held to honor the children and families affected by shaken baby syndrome. Family members and professionals were invited to join together during a candlelight vigil where these children could be remembered and parents could find support and friendship in each other.
The conference planning committee was led by Executive Director and Founder, Marilyn Sandberg. It included highly respected professionals from medical, legal and community areas. The committee provided input regarding the presenters and workshop topics and assisted in the distribution of conference materials.
The Fifth International Conference received excellent media attention and many professionals and family members were interviewed.
A one day legal/medical institute focused on developing and understanding the court room process with special attention to common strategies used by prosecution and defense attorneys in the examination of witnesses. State-of-the-art science was presented to address frequently used theories alleged as valid challenges to the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome. The audience had an opportunity to ask and expert panel for advise on handling difficulty situation that have arisen in their own experiences.
On the Theory and Practice of Shaking Infants: Where Have We Come in the 30 Years Since Shaken Baby Syndrome Was First Identified? Carole Jenny, MD, MBA
In 1971, Norman Guthkelch, MD, postulated that whiplash forces caused subdural hematomas. The following year, a pediatric radiologist by the name of John Caffey introduced the term "shaken baby syndrome". Since this identification, research and advancements that have aided in the diagnosis, treatment, investigation, prosecution, defense and prevention of the disease have occurred. Dr. Jenny identified some of the more notable advances since SBS was identified.
Anatomy of a Shaken Baby Syndrome Murder Case: the Prosecution of an Australian Nanny in England DCI, Philip Wheeler, Michael Green, MD, Richard Whittam, Matthew Kehoe
On April 17, 1998 Louise Sullivan, an Australian nanny working in North West London, shook a baby to death. After the investigation, which lasted a year and spanned three continents, she appeared in court at the Old Bailey in February 1999.
The investigation proved to be a landmark case. Sullivan pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment. This presentation demonstrated how the many defense ploys were blocked and how a multi-disciplinary team of experts was formed to defeat a very determined and aggressive defense team.
Victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome: A Relative Perspective
Family members of SBS victims share the circumstances surrounding the shaking of their children. They described the effects of abusive head trauma on their families and how the medical and legal systems responded to their individual cases.