How is shaken baby syndrome (SBS) diagnosed?
Diagnosing shaken baby syndrome (SBS) may be difficult for several reasons:
- Healthcare providers do not always get the truth about whether or not shaking was involved in an infant’s injury.
- Babies and very small children cannot tell doctors or nurses what happened or what hurts.
- Many symptoms of shaken baby syndrome (such as irritability, vomiting or lethargy) are also common in other conditions, such as viral infections.
Healthcare providers may use certain tests when a brain injury appears possible, including:
- X-rays to see if the skull is fractured.
- Computed tomography (CT) scans of the head and abdomen.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Eye examination to look for evidence of retinal bleeding (bleeding at the back of the eyes).