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Shaken Baby Syndrome and the Death of Matthew Eappen: A Forensic Pathologist's Response

Plunkett, John M.D.

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 1999 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 17-21

Subdural hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, and cerebral edema have been considered diagnostic for a "shaken infant" since the syndrome was described almost 30 years ago. However, the specificity of these findings has been disputed by defense witnesses in recent U.S. criminal prosecutions. This review examines the scientific basis for the shaken baby syndrome.

From the Regina Medical Center, and Minnesota Regional Coroner's Office, Hastings, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Received March 16, 1998; accepted December 20, 1998.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to John Plunkett, Regina Medical Center, 1175 Nininger Road, Hastings, MN 55033, U.S.A.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.