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:

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