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Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)

Medical procedures

If you suspect that your baby or child has been shaken, see your doctor. Seeking advice from a health care professional will reassure you and may prevent your child’s state of health from deteriorating.

When is it an emergency?

  • See Signs and symptoms
  • If you suspect or know that your baby has been shaken, it is your duty to take the appropriate course of action to ensure their safety.

Who should you call?

You would like your baby to undergo a specialized medical examination?

  • Please contact your baby’s doctor or pediatrician.

The CHUSJ, with it’s socio-legal pediatric clinic, offers the tests for babies and children for shaken baby syndrome. A referral from a clinic, hospital, CLSC, youth centre, or Youth Protection is required. If your baby or child has been hospitalized for a suspected case of SBS, a request will be made to the socio-legal pediatric clinic.

At the CHUSJ, the medical examination for suspected abuse (SBS) is conducted in the same manner as a regular pediatric examination; however, some additional diagnostic tests may be required:

  • Full-body X-ray
  • CT scan of the brain (cranial tomodensitometry)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Ophthalmology (special eye test because the majority of babies experience hemorrhaging or bleeding in the eyes)
  • Blood tests
  • Other possible tests based on the baby’s or child’s history and state of health

Parents will be called in to provide further information about their child’s history (pregnancy, birth, previous illnesses, accidents, hospitalization, etc.). The baby’s or child’s health book will be required.

The health care professionals who are involved in such cases are concerned with the child’s health and that of their family. They are well-aware of the difficult journey that families face when subjected to investigations such as those involving child abuse.

More than 30 of its health care professionals of different fields possess the required expertise regarding child abuse (social workers, pediatricians, nurses, psychologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, etc.).

The child abuse team at the CHUSJ is there to:

  • Conduct a complete assessment of the baby’s or child’s state of health;
  • Address any questions the parents may have;
  • Provide the parents with information, understanding, help, and support;
  • Provide referrals to other resources based on the family’s needs and those of the child.

Regular pediatric follow-up appointments are not possible through these services. They consist of specialized consultation services only.

About this page
Updated on 10/6/2014
Created on 10/6/2014
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