The Shaken Baby Syndrome Myth
renamed "Abusive Head Trauma" or "Non-Accidental Injury"



* SBS began as an unproven theory and medical opinions, now discredited by biomechanical engineering studies
* No DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS done to eliminate other causes, abuse assumed without evidence
* Shaken Baby diagnostic symptoms not caused by shaking
* Child protective agencies snatch children, destroy families based on medical accusations without proof of wrong-doing
*Poor or deceptive police investigations, falsified reports, perjured testimony threaten legal rights, due process
* Prosecutors seek "victory", over justice; defense attorneys guilty of ineffective counsel, ignorance, lack of effort
* Care-takers threatened, manipulated, in order to force plea bargains, false confessions
* A fractured criminal justice system--a big piece for the rich, a small piece for the poor, and none for alleged SBS cases.

Read First


Unproven Theory Unravels--"SBS Diagnostic Symptoms Not Caused By Shaking"

John Laverty, Jr., then 20
Falsely accused in 2000, wrongfully convicted in 2001

In 1972, the Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) concept crashed down on the world stage like a massive, earth-shaking meteor and the dust hasn't settled yet. For thousands of potentially innocent caretakers and their families since then, life has become a nuclear winter of darkness and despair.

According to the SBS hypothesis, inconsolable crying causes a caretaker to "lose it" and violently shake an infant out of frustration or rage. The shaking supposedly causes brain impact against the skull, resulting in Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)--the kind of brain damage seen after head impact in a vehicle accident. The movement of the brain is believed to cause the bridging veins between the brain and skull to shear, after which hemorrhaging in the subdural spaces and behind the eyes causes Subdural Hematomas (SDH) and Retinal Hemorrhages (RH). These three symptoms are the diagnostic triad of SBS. If any abnormal bruising or signs of healing fractures are found, these are considered additional proofs of child abuse over a period of time, even though certain far more likely medical conditions have the same symptoms.

But then "they", the SBS "experts" realized that shaking alone wasn't enough to cause the symptoms--that head impact was needed--so they theorized that people were shaking babies and slamming them down on something. Without alerting and "confusing" the public, SBS quietly became Shaken-Impact Syndrome, Shaken-Impact Baby Syndrome, or to play it really safe, some generic term like "Non-Accidental Injury" (NAI) or "Non-Accidental Trauma" (NAT) which has now evolved into "Abusive Head Injury" or "Abusive Head Trauma."

Furthermore, the "experts" determined that head impact had to be equal to a fall from a 2-story building, or head impact from being unrestrained in a vehicle crash, meaning it had to be intentional and extremely violent unless the caretaker could document an accidental injury of that amount of force. And because the "experts" believe that amount of force would cause nearly immediate unconsciousness or death (no lucid period), the last caretaker with the infant when it becomes unresponsive is considered the perpetrator--the CHILD ABUSER.

Unfortunately, SBS began and has remained an unproven hypothesis. A Hypothesis is an idea that requires a scientific process and evidence before it becomes a theory. To become an accepted medical theory, it usually goes through a system of checks and balances and must hold up to scientific challenge. Instead, it landed on top of us and was generally embraced by a public who accepted it as fact without question or doubt. That meant they believed the human race suddenly started committing infanticide about 40 years ago and have continued to do so more and more ever year since then in spite of the global campaign warning caretakers to ..."Never, never shake a baby!"

Part of the scientific process needed to change a medical hypothesis into an accepted theory is identifying and eliminating other causes of the same symptoms--"DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS". This was never done to prove the hypothesis and it isn't being done to prove the diagnosis, in violation of emergency pediatric medical guidelines and conventional medical protocol in general which would normally get a doctor in serious trouble with his profession and the law. But SBS appears to exist in some kind of a vacuum where the laws of man and nature don't apply.


Dr. Clemetson was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. He was a medical doctor, scientist and researcher who published over 48 medical papers and a three-volume monograph, Vitamin C.

Not only is there a lack of supporting scientific evidence for SBS as a medical entity using the same old criteria of diagnostic symptoms and inflicted force today as decades ago, there is a mountain of evidence against it which provides compelling evidence that whiplash-shaken babies have neck and spinal injuries never seen in these cases, and that the SBS diagnostic triad of diffuse axonal injury, subdural hematomas and retinal hemorrhages are NOT caused by shaking injuries involving internal brain impact and broken veins as described.

The triad can be caused by inflicted head impact, but also by accidental head injuries and a host of medical causes that have nothing to do with head impact or abuse, including birth injuries, hypoxia (lack of oxygen from different causes, including vaccine-induced apnea or seizures), anything that causes brain swelling, including natural infections and vaccinations (vaccine-induced encephalitis in particular), any kind of bleeding disorder or capillary fragility associated with nutrition-based metabolic conditions like Barlow's disease (Vitamin C deficiency) which can be caused in numerous ways, including vaccination of susceptible, usually formula-fed infants, Vitamin K deficiency, and other diseases and conditions which doctors fail to test for and eliminate as causes.

Shaking Brain Impact Is False Diagnosis Without Scientific Basis

In a letter written to a court in 2008, expert Injury Biomechanics Researcher: Chris Van Ee, PhD explains that "...while many in the medico-legal communities have debated these injury causation mechanisms, the Court is advised that most medical doctors are not trained in our scientific discipline and do not access our databases nor study our peer-reviewed research." He   goes on to assure the court that biomechanics tackles "Inconvenient Truths" that "some have ignored or distorted" head on.

The findings are as follows:

(A) Scientific testing has shown that head acceleration levels from anterior/posterior human shaking of a normal 0- to 2-year-old child in the sagittal plane results in head acceleration and force levels that are much lower than those which are associated with traumatic head injury. Repeated testing of this hypothetical has shown that the head accelerations associated with shaking are far below the level associated with injury and there is no quality data to support the SBS brain injury mechanism. Thus shaking, even if done in a fit of anger, is not expected to result in head dynamics sufficient to cause direct intra cerebral trauma.

(B) Human shaking (id.) may cause lethal brain stem and cervical spine injuries in a 0-to 2-year-old child, as the forces necessary for these injuries are well below the level needed for fatal brain injuries and are consistent with the forces that can be produced in shaking. Put another way, these neck injuries would be expected in any hypothetical-superhuman-strength case of SBS where superhuman dynamics resulted in head accelerations leading to inter cerebral trauma (if SBS were valid, which it is not).

(C) If a 0- to 2-year-old child accidentally falls from a height of six feet and impacts head- first on a hard surface face such as carpeted cement, the sudden impact has the potential to generate sufficient head accelerations to cause fatal intra cerebral injuries. Whether any given fall is fatal depends on a host of variables and the fall mechanics which are different in each accident, but the potential head dynamics that result from a 6 foot high fall could far exceed the tolerance associated with fatal head injury.

(D) Intentionally impacting a 0- to 2-year-old child’s head against a hard surface could easily cause fatal brain injuries that would mimic those of a fall and today’s science cannot distinguish accidental from non-accidental impacts of falls of similar magnitude, barring extraordinary signs, e.g., grip marks or eye-witness accounts.

(E) The foregoing findings are based on principles universally accepted within my field and concern scientific subject matters that I am willing to testify on in this case. The findings are overwhelmingly supported by the following reference list of biomechanical tests and studies.

Full text and references: 

INJURY BIOMECHANICS: What Dr. Van Ee was saying in plain English is that the research and studies of this scientific discipline have provided compelling evidence that it would take superhuman strength for someone to shake an infant hard enough to cause the head injuries SBS "experts" claim result from the brain hitting against the skull during a shaking incident, and even if that was possible, neck injuries would be apparent.

In fact, neck injuries are never found in these cases. Neck injuries are not even included in SBS diagnostic criteria, which strongly indicates not only the lack of scientific foundation for this diagnosis, but the lack of common sense, particularly since that would be the first thing doctors would look for in whiplash-shaken vehicle accident patients. SBS has become a blind obsession with doctors, social services and the criminal justice system, completely lacking a rational, reasonable basis. The unproven diagnostic triad of symptoms has been so loudly drummed into them that when they see these signs, they won't hear of any other cause no matter what caretakers say ...although there may be another possibility with some who know there are more likely medical causes, such as vaccine-induced brain swelling, and are intentionally misdirecting blame to caretakers to hide the truth.

Furthermore, Dr. Van Ee is saying that there is a way that shaking can cause the symptoms, not by brain impact, but by damaging the brainstem in the neck and shutting down respiration (hypoxia--lack of oxygen) which in turn causes brain swelling followed by hemorrhaging in the spaces between the brain and skull and behind the eyes, which usually go together. However, this is not the mechanism of action claimed by SBS "experts" and it can occur with very slight shaking, letting the head flop--any number of accidental or unintentional actions, such as a younger child picking up or holding an infant without supporting the head. Still, neck injuries would be found if the cause originated from a brainstem injury.

However, hypoxia has many causes including vaccine-induced apnea and seizures, heart problems, and many other medical conditions. Anything that interferes with respiration, oxygen to the brain, or oxygen absorption can cause brain swelling and the other symptoms. "No neck injury" means the cause was "other". No shaking.

There are many other causes of brain swelling, which include vaccines and infection. Vaccine-induced encephalitis is probably a major cause. Encephalitis, meningitis and similar conditions cause intense (cerebral) pain in the head, and a distinctive, diagnostic cry described world-wide as "inconsolable high-pitched crying," the exact same kind of cry SBS "experts" claim pushes caretakers over the edge and causes them to "lose it" and violently shake infants in anger or frustration--an assumption, since no shaking incident causing these symptoms has ever been witnessed or otherwise documented such as by a hidden "nanny cam", although shaking incidents have been documented which caused NO injury. 

What this means is the "inconsolable" crying may have been a symptom of brain swelling that existed prior to any reaction by a caretaker, even in cases where a baby was shaken, and came before the shaking, or assumed shaking. Many caretakers do shake infants if they find them comatose or otherwise unresponsive to try to "wake them up". Then, when they are already devastated and in crisis, admit this during an interrogation, after which they are blamed and prosecuted for causing the condition they were responding to.

"(Gently) shake and shout" was part of infant CPR training for decades, because a responder must determine whether an infant is responsive before applying CPR, only to find themselves accused of causing the condition they were treating. There was even a recent case where a child care provider applied CPR to an infant who suddenly stopped breathing and got blamed, and her instructor was too terrified to admit that was in the training manual and committed perjury in court to avoid liability. The defense attorney could have subpoenaed the training manual and either didn't think of it or didn't bother, and the woman was convicted of SBS. That part of CPR training has now been changed in the wake of the continuing obsessive SBS witch hunt that seems to escalate more in proportion to it being discredited.

Dr. Van Ee continues, explaining that the symptoms used to diagnose SBS can indeed be caused also by head impact, but by far less of an impact than that claimed by SBS diagnostic criteria for "amount of force". In fact, he describes accidental short falls and other types of accidental or inadvertent causes of head impact that have nothing to do with recklessness or abuse. Abuse can't be discounted as a cause, but blunt force trauma is hard to inflict without external signs of trauma. Most importantly, he admits what doctors attempt to deny--that the clinical signs fail to tell whether the impact was accidental or inflicted, unless there are specific signs of abuse such as unexplained finger or hand print bruises, cigarette burns, ligature marks, signs of gross neglect, etc. Not even abnormal bruising, fractures, or other symptoms too frequently blamed on child abuse can be relied on as supporting signs of abuse because they can have medical causes.

Unless medical causes are eliminated through Differential Diagnostic testing, assuming the symptoms are caused by abuse can lead to life-threatening medical misdiagnosis and catastrophic legal injustice to caretakers and their families.

The standard SBS Criteria For The "Amount of Force" Is False
The standard (and unproven) SBS criteria of the force required to caused the symptoms is "equal to a fall from a two-story building or an unrestrained impact in a vehicle accident". The "amount of force" supposedly required to cause the SBS symptoms is the foundation of legal charges against caretakers. Unless they can provide documented evidence of accidental injury equal to this amount of force, or prior diagnosed medical causes of the symptoms, abuse is assumed. This hypothetical and unproven assumption becomes the basis for criminal charges, which in turn is treated like medical facts instead of opinions and assumptions and used to assure convictions, usually by coercing defendants into signing plea bargains (only 5% of all criminal cases go to trial) by threatening them with certain conviction based on symptoms alone and much longer prison sentences than offered with the plea bargain, which may also trigger false confessions by terrified caretakers who are willing to say anything for a lower sentence when they can't prove their innocence.

Even greater problems with false confessions and plea bargains are that then the prosecution is not required to prove the case "beyond a reasonable doubt" and then these confessions and plea bargains become "proof" of an otherwise un provable diagnosis, and the cases become statistics to further "prove" SBS exists. That statistical base shows up in studies as  "proven abuse cases" which becomes the only so-called "scientific" foundation for SBS in a vicious cycle of false accusations, misdiagnosis which puts infants at further risk, and devastating legal consequences which lead to wrongful convictions.

Current Concepts and Assumptions in Diagnosis of SBS — Shaky Foundations:

SBS, sometimes classified as nonaccidental injury (NAI) commonly describes a combination of subdural hematoma (brain hemorrhage), retinal hemorrhage, and diffuse axonal injury (diffuse injury of nerve cells in brain and/or spinal cord) as the triad of diagnostic criteria. In some, the presence of rib or other fractures is also taken as sign of child abuse (1-4) These basic concepts, which originated approximately 30 years ago, remain a basis for most SBS accusations and convictions today in spite of newer scientific publications which promise to revolutionize these older concepts.

At the present time the following assumptions concerning SBS/NAI usually prevail in both hospitals and the courts:

* - That the severity of shaking force required to produce injuries (retinal and subdural hemorrhages, etc) is such that it cannot occur in any normal activity but is of such violence that untrained observers would immediately recognize it as dangerous and intentional; (5)

* - that such central nervous system (brain) injury on an accidental basis can only be associated with a massive force equivalent to a motor vehicle accident or a fall from a second story building;

* - that such injury is immediately symptomatic and cannot be followed by a lucid interval, so that from this reasoning, the last caretaker with the injured child is automatically considered guilty of abusive injury, especially if the incident is unwitnessed; (1, 6-8)

* - that changing symptoms in a child with prior head injury is due to newly inflicted injury and not just a re bleed; (9-13)

* - that the presence of retinal/subdural hemorrhages in the absence of known disease or accident (as described) above are exclusively diagnostic of SBS. --Dr. Harold Buttram, M.D.  Full text and references:

Fatal Short Falls Found To Cause SBS Diagnostic Symptoms:
Retinal Hemorrhages

Fatal Pediatric Head Injuries Caused by Short-Distance Falls
American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology. 22(1):1-12, March 2001.
Plunkett, John M.D

Physicians disagree on several issues regarding head injury in infants and children, including the potential lethality of a short-distance fall, a lucid interval in an ultimately fatal head injury, and the specificity of retinal hemorrhage for inflicted trauma. There is scant objective evidence to resolve these questions, and more information is needed. The objective of this study was to determine whether there are witnessed or investigated fatal short-distance falls that were concluded to be accidental. The author reviewed the January 1, 1988 through June 30, 1999 United States Consumer Product Safety Commission database for head injury associated with the use of playground equipment. The author obtained and reviewed the primary source data (hospital and emergency medical services' records, law enforcement reports, and coroner or medical examiner records) for all fatalities involving a fall.

The results revealed 18 fall-related head injury fatalities in the database. The youngest child was 12 months old, the oldest 13 years. The falls were from 0.6 to 3 meters (2-10 feet). A non caretaker witnessed 12 of the 18, and 12 had a lucid interval. Four of the six children in whom fundiscopic examination was documented in the medical record had bilateral retinal hemorrhage. The author concludes that an infant or child may suffer a fatal head injury from a fall of less than 3 meters (10 feet). The injury may be associated with a lucid interval and bilateral retinal hemorrhage (which is the single symptom most often used to accuse a caretaker of shaking an infant).

Doctors Deny Short Falls Cause SBS Symptoms In Spite Of Documented Evidence To The Contrary
The medical profession has long denied that "short falls" can cause the constellation of symptoms attributed to SBS. However, it is know known that short falls can injure and kill. Also, a documented case (videotaped) of an accidental short fall with no shaking involved resulted in all of the symptoms considered hallmarks of SBS. There is no record of a reliably witnessed case of shaking that produced these same symptoms. That leaves "assumption of guilt" as the evidence used to convict caretakers, break up families, and remove children from their homes, sometimes permanently. The reality of child abuse can and should never be denied. But the rush to convict without evidence of criminal intent or without investigating and eliminating other causes is just as devastating, particularly when there are medical conditions which cause identical symptoms to those attributed to shaking alone.

"The pathologist challenging shaken baby syndrome"
Pediatric pathologist, Dr. Irene Scheimberg, talks to journalist Sue Armstrong:

(Interview) Sue: Have you any clues as to what the mechanism causing "shaken baby" symptoms might be?

"I'm exploring all sorts of theories. My colleague Marta Cohen from Sheffield Children's Hospital and I have just published a paper with observations of our autopsy work on fetuses and babies over the last couple of years. We selected 55 cases - 25 late third trimester fetuses who died shortly before delivery and 30 newborns - who had haemorrhage within the membrane that covers and separates the two halves of the brain, and compared this with the level of brain hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency. We knew that none of these cases could possibly be inflicted trauma. We found that all those with severe brain hypoxia and half of those with moderate brain hypoxia had SDH. This is the same type of SDH that some people describe as specifically indicative of shaken baby syndrome. A similar pattern of haemorrhages has been described in the retinas of newborn babies dying of natural causes. We think that in these cases the hemorrhaging is caused by the hypoxia.

My concern is that by relying on this famous triad of symptoms - brain hypoxia, SDH and retinal haemorrhages - to diagnose shaken baby syndrome, when there's no evidence of inflicted trauma, we may be sending to jail parents who lost their children through no fault of their own. As scientists it's our duty to be cautious when we see the triad, and to take each case on its merits. We owe it to the children and their families." --Dr. Scheimberg

The False Medical Claim That Clinical Signs Show Cause And Motive
Many doctors claim there is a difference in symptoms caused by abuse and accidental injury. This suggests the body expresses "accidental" and "on purpose" differently, as though there were clinical signs that can diagnose motive. Of course, if an infant is found with external signs of inflicted trauma like cigarette burns, cuts, bites, finger mark bruises, ligature marks, etc., then these are signs of abuse. However, these signs are rarely present in infants diagnosed with SBS. In fact, the original description specifically listed "no external signs of abuse", which is why shaking was assumed. Common signs of abuse make this a "battered" baby, not a shaken one. However, there are signs mistaken as abuse such as abnormal bruising, the appearance of burns, and other markings that have medical causes.

In spite of claims to the contrary, there are no clear clinical signs that differentiate between accidental and non-accidental injury. The physiology of the body responds the same to both without being able to tell motive, or mechanism of action. Was a head injury accidental or inflicted? That determination lies beyond the scope of a treating physician, although doctors continually cross the line between medicine and law and overstep their boundaries to do so in blaming caretakers. Factor undiagnosed medical causes into the mix and what gets cooked-up is calamity.

There are some clinical signs aside from the obvious mentioned above that may tell a story. Subdural hemorrhages do occur with differences. There are thin types and thick types. Thin types are usually associated with hypoxia--a lack of oxygen to the brain, for example, following an incident of "apnea" (most often associated with vaccine adverse events), heart incidents, drowning, or other causes that would interfere with the oxygen supply to the brain. Improper insertion of a breathing tube down an infant's throat might cause the same thing. But if there are injuries without medical causes, they do not tell how a thing happened or who did it.

Blunt force trauma to the head, accidental or non-accidental, would more likely result in the thick kind of subdural hematoma.

Most infants diagnosed with SBS have the thin type uncharacteristic of blunt force trauma.

Hemorrhages in the eyes are believed to take certain shapes in SBS infants. However, the same types of hemorrhage are found in vitamin C deficiency, which may occur in the form of chronic, subclinical scurvy in a developing fetus of any infant whose mother had a deficient diet during her pregnancy, health issues of her own or smoked, or after birth by feeding an infant baby formula (breast milk is loaded with vit. C), heated cow's milk, or some other inappropriate diet who experiences any unusual stress from infections or illness, vaccinations which act like infections, certain drugs or medications, or other stresses on a baby's fragile, immature immune system.

Whiplash-shaken infants in vehicle crashes almost never present with the symptoms associated with SBS even though the mechanism of action is the same. Neither has there ever been a reliably witnessed or documented case of shaking alone that produced these symptoms. On the other hand, there have been documented cases of shaking, such as those caught on "nanny-cams" where no injury has occurred.

"Confessions": False, Intentionally Misinterpreted,
Accounts Of Actions Unrelated To Abuse

Confessions are not reliable. People may gently shake a comatose or dead infant trying to "wake it up" and get blamed for the very condition they were responding to. Or caretakers trained in infant CPR may apply the "(gently) shake and shout procedure they were taught up until recently to determine if an infant is responsive before applying CPR, and again be accused of abuse for responding to a crisis already in progress. Or in the few cases where actual rough or violent shaking takes place when a caretaker "loses" it due to the most common stated cause of "inconsolable crying", that in itself may be a symptom of a life-threatening condition such as vaccine-induced encephalitis, and the baby's condition may not have anything to do with shaking. And then there are the ever-present plea bargains. When a defendant is threatened with 40 years to life in prison if they persist in claiming their innocence and going to trial, when conviction is assured based on symptoms alone, plea bargains are the way most people go, innocent or guilty. And because most end in plea bargains, and there is precious little evidence otherwise, SBS proponents use "plea bargains" as "proof" that SBS exists. Otherwise, there is little science to the SBS hypothesis of cause, and a growing body of evidence to dispute it, at least without impact to the head.

This is not to deny the fact that a person can shake an infant hard enough to kill it or do long-term injury. Of course a baby can be shaken to death. But the injury is to the neck and spine, not to the head. In SBS cases, signs of external trauma to the head are rarely seen, and no signs of neck injury are found. In fact, they are rarely even examined for neck injury, although this is the first place they would logically look for injury in a whiplash-shaken incident involving a vehicle crash without head impact.

SBS "evidence" is not based on scientific proof, but upon an unproven hypothesis that was embraced without proper peer review and testing to eliminate other causes. It relies on assumptions and social histories of supposed "shaking" incidents, although most shaking is assumed if the caretaker can't prove otherwise, or by questionable and usually tainted "confessions" which include shaking a baby who has become comatose to try to "wake it up", or the CPR procedure of "shake and shout" to determine if an infant is responsive before applying chest compressions and mouth resuscitation efforts. More frequently, plea bargains where the caretaker is threatened with anything from 20-to-life, or even death if they go to trial and plead innocent comprise the main body of "statistics" used as evidence in support of shaking, despite their lack of scientific validity. Emotion wins the day, overwhelming common sense and the need of in-depth medical and forensic investigation.

Baby Casey Laverty, 2 months after medical SBS misdiagnosis, legally argued as "non-accidental trauma", who had the ignored background history, signs and symptoms of vaccine injury and metabolic disease.

Even The Suggestion Of Shaken Baby Abuse..
People don't even stop to think that the criteria used to describe the amount of force "experts" claim is needed to cause the triad of symptoms associated with SBS are injuries from a massive head impact, not shaking. And that amount of force is so massive that signs of external trauma would be evident--signs that are almost never seen in these cases, other than actual admitted head impact events, including accidental short falls.That being said, unless a caretaker can provide documented evidence of accidental head impact of this magnitude, an unrelated "reliable" witness of accidental injury, or a previously diagnosed medical condition explaining the symptoms, the last caretaker with the infant is assumed to be guilty of intentional abuse without a shred of evidence other than the symptoms themselves. This criteria remains as false as the shaking theory. In considering head impact alone as a cause, medical literature contains many accounts of accidental short falls and other similar incidents causing one or all of the symptoms, without even factoring in medical causes. But once any of these symptoms are seen and even a suggestion of child abuse is made, reason and logic fly out the window and other far more likely causes are neither medically nor legally investigated.

The investigation is then focused on getting a conviction, not getting to the truth, and the lengths medical authorities, social services, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system will go to for this purpose may step (or leap) over the line and subvert due process and legal justice in the mistaken belief that "the end justifies the means", or even worse, with a private agenda to hide the truth that makes people willing to commit criminal acts to avoid exposure, blame or liability. Those who are falsely accused need to look at every document involved with their case and to research every detail. Most attorneys don't have the time or care enough to do this for you.

Medical-Legal Facets of Shaken Baby Syndrome:
By the inherent nature of SBS cases, where a caretaker or parent is alone with an infant at the time of collapse or accidental injury of the infant, it is rarely if ever possible to prove the innocence of parent or caretaker, there being no witnesses to corroborate the stories of the accused person in maintenance of his or her innocence. Defense of these cases, therefore, must be based on evidence showing a likelihood that death or injury of the infant arose from causes other than child abuse. This is done by a careful analysis of the clinical history and findings supported by scientific and medical literature, together with bringing to light the fallibility of current concepts surrounding SBS. It is also done by finding (as one often does) unreserved and vehement support of the innocence of the accused by family or friends.

One of the main reasons for my opinion as to the their innocence of many accused parents or caretakers is a rather strange pattern that often takes place in hospital emergency rooms, where once a suspicion of SBS or non-accidental injury arises, in many instances all thought of further diagnostic investigation ceases. I know of no other situation in medicine where the usual diagnostic thoroughness one finds in such centers is abandoned. For this and other reasons, I have not seen a single case where, in my opinion, the prosecution has met the standards of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt," standards which are supposed to apply in criminal cases.
--Dr. Buttram, MD

Plea Bargains
95% of all criminal charges are resolved by plea bargains, and it's probably even a higher number in SBS cases, because the charges are almost always based on symptoms alone with no need for actual evidence against the caretakers. If that person can't provide documented evidence of prior illness or accidental injury of the magnitude that SBS "experts" claim is required to cause the symptoms, then the accused are facing certain conviction without any way to defend themselves. A jury trial could result in sentences of decades in prison, or life, or even the death penalty. Without any way to defend themselves, most caretakers--no matter how innocent they are--face the terror and the threat of much longer sentences if they demand a trial, and so most accept plea bargains for lower sentences and reduced charges.

These plea bargains then form the basis of the "scientific" evidence in support of SBS, which means no evidence at all, and no science. Yet countless studies refer to the plea bargain statistics as "proven cases of inflicted injury" and whatever signs and symptoms are found in those cases are used to define and group diagnostic symptoms into such an ever-widening base, that more and more families with sick infants risk being accused of causing their symptoms through abuse.

Beware: The National SBS Organization lists the following symptoms as evidence of shaking/impact abuse:
Common Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome:

* Lethargy / decreased muscle tone
* Extreme irritability
* Decreased appetite, poor feeding or vomiting for no apparent reason
* Grab-type bruises on arms or chest are rare
* No smiling or vocalization
* Poor sucking or swallowing
* Rigidity or posturing
* Difficulty breathing
* Seizures
* Head or forehead appears larger than usual or soft-spot on head appears to be bulging
* Inability to lift head
* Inability of eyes to focus or track movement or unequal size of pupils

Coincidentally, the same symptoms are described in vaccine injuries, infections like vaccine-induced encephalitis, nutrition-based metabolic diseases, and other medical causes unrelated to physical injury or abuse. Barlow's disease alone (Vitamin C deficiency) lists all of these symptoms in different cases, though not necessarily all symptoms in a single case. How many parents will now avoid seeking medical care for their sick infant out of fear of being accused of "inflicted injury" even in the absence of any signs of external trauma?

But the legal terrain is changing. More defendants and their attorneys are asking, "Where are the neck injuries" and accessing scientific experts and published reports and studies which contradict SBS dogma, making it harder for people to be railroaded straight to prison without due process or fair trials.

A Growing International Community Against SBS

There is a growing international group of doctors, scientists--biomechanical engineers in particular--researchers, and other individuals and groups organizing against the SBS diagnosis. The days when an assumption of SBS based on symptoms alone led directly to a conviction, usually from plea bargains signed by terrified caretakers threatened with longer sentences if they dared go to trial is coming to an end. The careers of several forensic pathologists in Canada and England have ended due to shoddy or inefficient forensic evaluations of supposed SBS cases, and convictions are being legally re-examined in these countries. The U.S. is lagging far behind, but the times are changing, and American medicine is beginning to reflect or at least to react to the changes.

"Must-read" sites:

No More "Shaken Baby Syndrome" Or "Shaken-Impact Syndrome"
On April 27, 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a new policy statement in their medical journal, "Pediatrics", described as "the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

"Shaken baby syndrome is a term often used by doctors and the public to describe abusive head trauma inflicted on infants and young children. While shaking an infant can cause neurologic injury, blunt impact or a combination of shaking and blunt impact can also cause injury. In recognition of the need for broad medical terminology that includes all mechanisms of injury, the new AAP policy statement, “Abusive Head Trauma In Infants and Children,” recommends pediatricians embrace the term “abusive head trauma” to describe an inflicted injury to the head and its contents. Pediatricians should learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of abusive head trauma, including those caused by both shaking and blunt impact, and consult with pediatric sub specialists when necessary. "

This information about the demise of the SBS term in favor of a more descriptive name hasn't completely filtered down to all doctors, social services or the criminal justice system yet. People are presently still be accused and charged for SBS. Nor could the Academy bring itself to completely eliminate "shaking" from the description--when or if it does, the medical and legal implications will be enormous, particularly in light of the thousands of caretakers who lost their children to social services (CPS) and/or went to prison on assumed violent shaking charges.

Medical Authorities Seek To Protect Themselves With Name Change
The problem is, "A rose by any other name is still a rose" (Shakespeare). Officially, the name has been changed but the SBS diagnostic triad remains the same with additional signs such as abnormal bruising or bone fractures (or x-ray signs of metabolic disease misdiagnosed as traumatic bone fractures or "healing fractures in different stages") being viewed as additional evidence of abuse when all of the symptoms may have medical causes. Also, the false criteria for "amount of force" needed remains the same. As soon as "two-story fall/unrestrained in a vehicle crash" or anything similar appears in the medical reports or more likely, in conversations with investigating officers, social services or in court testimony, the unproven SBS hypothesis has again reared it's ugly, thinly-veiled head. What the name change accomplishes is to protect doctors from the false accusations of violent shaking they previously misdiagnosed. What they have done, in effect, is to legally cover their asses in light of compelling evidence of medical misconduct and catastrophic misdiagnosis while continuing to focus the blame on innocent caretakers by claiming that shaking is followed by inflicted head impact of a violent nature with massive force. When no sign of external head trauma exists, doctors claim the infant was slammed against a pillow or bedding, without any explanation of how someone could cause an impact equal to "a fall from a 2-story building" or 'being unrestrained in a vehicle crash" by this means, and all without any sign of neck injury.

Doctors Violate Emergency Pediatric Medical Guidelines
Doctors are still violating conventional medical guidelines demanding Differential Diagnosis testing so that medical causes are eliminated before an assumption of abuse becomes an official diagnosis and the falsely accused are still being wrongfully convicted. This is not to deny that child abuse exists, only that the innocent are losing their children and serving time behind bars side-by-side with the guilty, because there are tests that can separate one from the other and they aren't being done.

Clinical Manual of Emergency Pediatrics, by Drs. Ellen F. Crain & Jeffrey C. Gershel, Third Edition, 1992,1997 (a more recent edition is available)

This manual assumes that Differential Diagnosis will be done in every case of suspected abuse.

In Chap. 18, P.524, the doctors write, "The differential diagnosis of the abused child includes conditions with skeletal involvement: accidental trauma, osteogenesis imperfecta, Caffey's disease, scurvy, rickets, birth trauma, and congenital infection. Diseases with dermatological manifestations include bleeding disorders (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, leukemia, hemophilia, von Willebrand's disease), recurrent pyodermas, and scalded skin syndrome. The most common clinical problem is the differentiation between accidental and nonaccidental trauma. Finally, sudden infant death syndrome and accidental poisonings may be mistaken for child abuse.

This is followed by longer lists of findings under DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS related to other causes of bruising, dehydration, failure to thrive, abdominal injury, fractures--multiple or in various stages of healing--metaphyseal and/or epiphyseal lesions (callus formation?), subperiosteal ossification (calcifying structures), and Central Nervous System Injury.

Considering this publication is over 13 years old, the updated lists should be much longer, but will unlikely include "vaccine injury" ever, in spite of the fact that it should be at the top of the list in most categories.

Assumptions Become Convictions
Once accused, in an "excess of zeal" and a rush to condemn, an accusation leads almost directly to a conviction unless a falsely accused person acts aggressively to protect themselves without being intimidated, which is easier said than done. Medical investigation becomes almost non-existent because abuse is assumed, and legal investigation is geared towards proving guilt. Sometimes doctors, social services, law enforcement and court officers who appoint themselves judge and jury before the fact may twist or fabricate evidence or withhold it to insure a conviction. So, unless innocent caretakers examine the documents in their own cases for error, fraud or unproven assumptions and take a strong, aggressive stand against the kind of coercion and intimidation used against them, they are often railroaded into prison simply because the symptoms were found, without any supporting evidence that they caused non-accidental injuries other than being the last person with the infant. The best call in cases where SBS is diagnosed, whether that term is used or not, is to loudly demand, "WHERE ARE THE NECK INJURIES?"

Also, A WORD OF ADVICE: Take a polygraph exam. If you are innocent of abuse, you won't fail. Polygraph exams react to DECEPTION, not nervousness, regret, remorse, fear, or other kinds of emotional distress and pain. Tell the truth. If you are honest, the worst that can happen at the hands of a competent examiner is that one who is trying to accommodate the prosecution may say the results are "inconclusive". Then, you have a more trust worthy examiner look at the readings for interpretation. Privately requested exams are kept private. You do with the results what you want, but they should go to doctors, law enforcement, social services and the prosecutor right up front, and the media for certain.

Assist the attorney with your case. Attorneys prepare case law and legal arguments based on the legal charges against their clients but they rarely study the actual cases carefully or do any research of the type you need, unless they specialize in these cases and have acquired medical expertise concerning alternative causes. As shocking as it sounds, doctors are not above lying and falsifying medical reports to make certain caretakers are blamed, either out of ignorance or to protect themselves. Law enforcement investigators notoriously falsify reports and give perjured testimony in court to assure convictions. There is even a word for this ..."testilying".

No Differential Diagnosis Means No Defense and No Justice
When comatose or unresponsive infants are brought to the ER and symptoms long held to be diagnostic of SBS are found, without documented evidence of accidental injury or disease, abuse is assumed. Doctors, social services and the criminal justice system, engorged with an "excess of zeal," rush to accuse, often cutting corners--failing or refusing to do "DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS", to eliminate other causes of the same symptoms. Once an accusation or voiced suspicion of child abuse is uttered, investigation by law enforcement is geared to proving abuse, not disproving it, symptoms are interpreted in terms of inflicted injury, prosecutors jump on the band wagon, defense attorneys fail to research their cases with due diligence and push for plea bargains or yield to certain convictions, and "due process" by the criminal justice system gets lost in the shuffle.

Threats of certain conviction based on symptoms alone (which have other causes) with long prison sentences for those who insist on going to trial usually lead to plea bargains forged from hopelessness and despair. Pleas, in turn, are used as "proof" of guilt in other similar cases which lack supporting science and forensic evidence of "criminal intent".

The Rich Terrain In Which An Unproven Theory Grew And Thrived, Unchallenged
Herein lies the supercharged, knee-jerk emotional terrain in which the unproven hypothesis of "Shaken Baby Syndrome" grew and thrived. In this over-fertilized environment, infants are put at risk of life-threatening medical misdiagnosis and wrongful injury or death at the hands of doctors who allow guessing and "junk science" to replace careful medical investigation and tests (differential diagnosis) to eliminate medical causes. These tests could separate the innocent from the guilty. They would either support an assumption of abuse or diagnose medical causes and eliminate abuse as a "differential", but they aren't being done. However, in cases of actual head injury, the lines blur. Clinical symptoms do not determine intentions, in spite of claims to the contrary. A head injury can be the same whether it's accidental or inflicted. The issue here is for the medical, social services and criminal justice system to be aware that the present criteria of "extreme force" needed to produce the symptoms is not supported by medical science or case histories in the medical literature. This textbook error is producing as many false accusations and wrongful convictions as the original "shaking alone" theory resulted in.

Emergency medical guidelines instruct doctors to do differential diagnosis when abuse is suspected. Why are they allowed to violate conventional medical procedures with such impunity? Such is their influence that "assumptions" become "facts" accepted without suspicion of error or fraud. In fact, unproven science and medical assumptions have fueled a great SBS media campaign, turning it into big business, at least until recently. It's too soon to tell what impact the advised change in diagnostic terminology will have in the marketplace. Read the following:

Meanwhile, in spite of the grand, international media blitz warning caretakers to never, ever shake an infant in anger, cases of assumed shaking have increased yearly for the last 3 decades.   WHY? Many believe the increase in cases mirrors the increase in the infant vaccination schedule, which is also true of a different type of neurological impairment with systemic effects ...autism. This is given additional credence by the fact that when Japan temporarily raised the age of vaccination to two years of age following infant vaccine injuries and deaths, SBS and SIDS nearly disappeared, and they reappeared when the country was pressured into lowering the vaccine schedule back to newborns and infants.

Differential Diagnosis: Alternative Causes of SBS Symptoms
An article about a famous SBS case from 2004.


Shaken Babies
by Archie Kalokerinos, MD

Shaken Baby Syndrome was originally defined to include
1. Fractures
2. Bruising
3. Hemorrhages
   a) Intracranial
   b) Retinal
   c) Elsewhere
4. Other injuries not explained by a clear and witnessed (by so-called ‘reliable witnesses’ unrelated to the family) history of accidental injury. That is; what is regarded as ‘nonaccidental injury’ (NAI).

It was later defined by intracranial and/or retinal haemorrhages alone.

Then it was claimed that gentle shaking alone could initiate the problem.

Later still, the definition was extended to include some cases of the ‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’.

Compelling evidence that "shaking alone" fails to cause the triad of diagnostic symptoms led doctors and scientists to believe that a mighty impact on the head is required, particularly in the case of Subdural Hematomas, although evidence of external head trauma is rarely found. The fact is, Subdural Hematomas have many causes unrelated to abuse, including accidental head trauma (dropping, falling), birth injuries, and medical causes that involve no head trauma. Volpe's famous textbook, NEUROLOGY OF THE NEWBORN lists seven causes of SDH that have nothing to do with child abuse, and "shaken baby syndrome" isn't even mentioned. There are other known causes most doctors won't discuss these days, including the potential hemorrhagic effects of vaccinations causing brain swelling along with SDH and retinal hemorrhages, increased blood histamine levels which creates a hemorrhagic condition, and endotoxemia, which does the same. And they are either quiet about or ignorant of the hemorrhagic effects of nutritional/metabolic deficiency diseases like vitamin K and C deficiencies, which in turn affect bone formation. The same with Retinal Hemorrhages--there are many known causes, including the fact that SDH's are often coupled with RH no matter what the cause. RH's have many known causes, as does DAI:

"Shaken Babies" by Archie Kalokerinos, MD          (*hypoxia--low oxygen levels)


The use of italics for the word ‘injury’ is deliberate because the pathology involved is not always caused by an ‘inflicted injury’.--Kalokerinos

Kaur et al, J Clin Pathol. 1999;52::203-209, state:
" Conclusions – Axonal bulbs staining positively for _APP may occur in the presence of hypoxia and in the absence of head injury. The role of hypoxia, raised intracranial pressure, oedema, shift effects, and ventilatory support in the formation of axonal bulbs is discussed. The presence of axonal bulbs cannot necessarily be attributed to shearing forces alone."

Rosomoff et al, Crit Care Med, 1996, Feb;24(2 Suppl):S48-56, state:
"Severe traumatic brain injuries are extremely heterogenous. At least seven of the secondary derangements in that have been identified as occurring after most traumatic brain injuries also occur after cardiac arrest."

Geddes et al, Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 2000 Apr:26(2):105-16, state:
"The lack of correlation between well-documented histories and neuropathological findings means that in the interpretation of assault cases at least, a diagnosis of traumatic axonal injury or diffuse axonal injury is likely to be of limited use for medicolegal purposes."

Where Is The Reason, Logic, And Common Sense?

Doctors can't ignore well-publicized scientific studies, even when they don't fit the mold of their medical dogma, and over the years it has become more and more apparent that an "impact" is needed to produce the symptoms in suspected "SHAKING" cases, even though external signs of a head impact are rarely found, and this is without even considering other medical causes. In response, the name "Shaken Baby Syndrome" was quietly changed to "Shaken-Impact Baby Syndrome" or more frequently, "Non-Accidental Injury" (NAI), "Non-Accidental Trauma" (NAT), "Inflicted Head Trauma" or more recently "Abusive Head Trauma" without rocking the boat medically or legally, although this is a departure from the original theory in earlier decades, which makes little sense if you think about it.That's like saying, it used to be a cat but now it's a short, it used to be shaking but now it's head impact with shaking thrown in to avoid liability for past errors. Doctors now claim that caretakers must be shaking infants and then slamming them down on something. But it would have to be a soft something, because there is rarely any sign of external head trauma, and when there is, the caretaker's account usually includes a description of some kind of head impact. But when there is no external sign of head trauma indicating impact on a soft surface, how could it possibly generate forces equal to a two-story fall or head impact in a vehicle crash?

Normally, in all types of unexplained medical emergencies DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS is required to eliminate wrong causes in the search for the right diagnosis. If the assumption of abuse is wrong and a medical condition goes undiagnosed and untreated, or the wrong treatment is given, babies can die or become irreparably damaged. One example would be the use of a blood thinner like Heparin to treat the clotted blood of a Subdural Hematoma assumed to be caused by blunt force trauma (the "impact" part of shaken-impact) ...when the actual cause is brain swelling and the resulting hemorrhaging in the head from vaccines, medical drugs or procedures like intubation gone wrong, or bleeding from the burst capillaries of a hemorrhagic nutritional/metabolic disease. The effect of a blood thinner on a hemorrhagic condition rather than bleeding and clotting from "blunt force trauma" is too horrible to imagine. Example:

Have you ever had Heparin or a derivative? I have. The simple act of removing an IV needle from my wrist caused such massive bleeding that it had to be packed with gauze pads about three inches thick. My father was given a blood thinner for perceived heart problems. It caused one eye to hemorrhage and blinded it permanently.

Problems With An Unproven Hypothesis

  • Whiplash-shaken infants in vehicle accidents do not present with the brain symptoms associated with SBS ...unless there is head impact.
  • Infant vehicle accident victims suffering from whiplash-skaking get injuries to the neck and spine almost never seen in SBS infants.
  • Experimental studies with primates in 1968 proved that shaking could cause bleeding in the spaces between the brain and skull, but only after 155 g's of force was applied mechanically, while humans are only able to generate 7-11 g's of force unless they happen to be super athletes, then the most documented was around 30 g's of force, meaning that "shaking alone" doesn't do it.
  • Accidental short falls with head impact can generate far more than enough force to cause Subdural Hematomas, Retinal Hemorrhages, and brain swelling (DAI--diffuse axonal injury)
  • Most Subdural Hematomas found in diagnosed SBS cases are the thin type associated with hypoxia--lack of oxygen to the brain such as might occur following an apnea incident or similar events, not from blunt force trauma which usually causes thick Subdural Hematomas.
  • There has never been a reliably witnessed case of shaking that produced the symptoms of SBS.
  • Most "confessions" come from caretakers who gently shook a non-responsive infant to try to "wake it up", from caretakers applying their CPR training to (gently) "Shake and shout" to determine if an infant is unresponsive before applying CPR, or from those unable to prove their innocence and facing up to life in prison if they go to trial and were coerced into taking plea bargains for lower sentences. These so-called confessions are used as "proof" that SBS exists, rather than relying on solid scientific evidence, of which there is none. They "think" shaking causes a shearing of veins in the head that cause bleeding, but can't prove it other than designating all cases where there is no documentation of an accident as "non-accidental" and taking the medical data of these cases as "evidence".
  • Many forensic pathologists deny that SBS is a true medical concept, particularly with no impact to the head involved.
  • Biomechanical engineers who study motion injuries continue to provide compelling evidence that SBS is a myth.
  • A number of diseases including metabolic/nutritional disorders cause all of the symptoms attributed to SBS.
  • People, including doctors, assume that diseases like scurvy and rickets have gone the way of bubonic plague, but in fact a poor maternal diet, excessive vomiting, smoking, infections, vaccines that act like infections, and many drugs including antibiotics and antihistamines can cause massive nutritional deficiencies in infants.
  • When vitamin C deficiency occurs (usually in formula-fed infants), blood histamine levels rise, creating "capillary fragility" which is a hemorrhagic condition also affecting bone development.
  • Vaccines increase blood histamine levels.
  • Bacteria in vaccines (including the contaminates in all vaccines), natural bacterial infections and the antibiotics used to treat them can cause endotoxemia which can cause the symptoms associated with SBS.

Endotoxemia and Vitamin C Deficiency As Causes of Supposed SBS Symptoms

Endotoxins--the release of deadly toxins from the breakdown of bacterial cell walls following infection and antibiotic use, which has a high rate of mortality and no medical treatment.."ENDOTOXEMIA"'s&collection=ENV&recid=

Different endotoxin release and IL-6 plasma levels after antibiotic administration in surgical intensive care patients Journal of Endotoxin Research [J. ENDOTOXIN RES.]. Vol. 3, no. 3. 1996.

"Despite the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, aggressive fluid resuscitation, vasopressor support, the mortality associated with Gram-negative sepsis and septic shock has not decreased significantly in the last two decades. The consequences of host exposure to endotoxin and the relationship of antibiotic administration to endotoxin release have become important areas of intense interest. In vitro studies have demonstrated that there was a difference in endotoxin release between PBP-3 specific antibiotics ( beta -lactam antibiotics) and PBP-2 specific antibiotics (carbapenems). This is the first clinical report of surgical patients admitted to the surgical and anaesthesiology intensive care unit on the missing endotoxin release after imipenem treatment; however cefotaxime and ceftriaxone showed significantly more positive endotoxin tests in the plasma when compared to imipenem. Ciprofloxacin and vancomycin were intermediate in endotoxin release and tobramycin did not cause endotoxin release. There were also significant differences in endotoxin neutralizing capacity. IL-6 levels were decreased after imipenem faster than after ceftriaxone or cefotaxime; ciprofloxacin seemed to increase IL-6. Endotoxin may be harmful in patients where the immune system has been continuously challenged. Timing, dosage, or combination with other compounds as well as the effect of antibiotics on macrophages need to be tested in larger clinical trials. In this respect a consecutive study was started."

Vaccine-Induced or Accelerated Vitamin C Deficiency (Barlow's disease variant):
Dr. Archie Kalokerinos of Australia, recipient of that country's highest civilian award for his medical work among the aborigines whose infants and children were dying--up to 50% following government mandated vaccinations (Book: EVERY SECOND CHILD)--until he saw signs of malnutrition and scurvy, theorized that vaccines were causing massive vitamin C depletion, who then brought the death rate down to zero with injected nutrients before and after shots, explains the connection between vitamin C deficiency and endotoxemia, and the effects of both which account for symptoms found in babies assumed to have been shaken. He refers to the "pathologies" of SBS:

"The fundamental cause of all the pathologies:
There is an increased utilization of Vitamin C precipitated (mostly) by endotoxin or other bacterial toxins.

This, in turn, results in two pathologies:

1. Due to Vitamin C deficiency
2. Due to endotoxaemia.

Usually there is a combination of these two factors, with special complications that can occur in the brain because of its unique physiology. Taking this one step further, one can then move on to understand how:

1. Vitamin C deficiency can, in itself, cause haemorrhages.
2. Vitamin C deficiency can, in itself, cause spontaneous fractures.
3. Endotoxin can in itself, cause coagulation/bleeding disorders.
4. Endotoxin uses vast quantities of Vitamin C while being ‘detoxified’ (involving free radical reactions).

Endotoxin can specifically target the brain by:

1. specifically, and selectively, damaging the endothelial linings of cerebral blood vessels
2. breaking the blood-brain barrier
3. seeping into the cerebral tissue
4. causing anoxia by a direct effect on the respiratory centre
5. initiating a rapid series of biochemical disturbances, including free radical reactions, leading to an extremely rapid onset of cerebral oedema—with a host of possible complications
6. causing coagulation/bleeding disturbances."

Dr. Caffey's Unproven Hypothesis

When Dr. John Caffey, a specialist in the new field of radiology, published an article about long bone fractures in infants with chronic Subdural Hematomas in 1946 that became his later "Whiplash Shaken Infant" theory, he had been puzzling over the bodies of dead infants with no sign of external trauma. Autopsy and x-rays found fractures in long bones and bleeding in the head and sometimes behind the eyes--Subdural Hematomas (SH) and Retinal Hemorrhages (RH), which often occur together. A "must read" article on how "junk science" becomes "accepted medical theory" with the specific example of Caffey's invention of a hypothesis and how he pounded square pegs into round holes to make it fit: "FORENSIC SCIENCE AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD"

There was no bruising, no signs of abuse to explain the injuries. He suspected Barlow's disease (infantile scurvy), but this was usually only found in babies over 6-7 months old after exclusive feeding on baby formula lacking the enormous amount of vitamin C found in breast milk, and some of these infants were younger than that. He wasn't aware then that malnutrition can begin in the womb or that certain conditions accelerated vitamin deficiency besides just deficient baby formula, so Barlow's was listed as a "differential diagnosis" while he looked for another cause. The problem was, while he looked for a new cause, he didn't test to eliminate old causes, of which there were several possibilities.

Then doctor Caffey heard the story about a physically massive, mentally ill nurse who was held responsible for the death of several infants. She confessed that she had been driven to state of frustration over one infant who refused to take her bottle of formula and shook the baby, after which it died. What caused the lack of appetite was never questioned, on important omission considering that anorexia and swallowing difficulties are symptoms of scurvy. Instead, Caffey jumped on the idea of "shaking" as the cause of death, and without any supporting medical evidence other than her confession, believed he had found the explanation for a sudden rash of infant deaths being seen, and from then on believed and promoted the theory that "whiplash-shaking" was the cause, although he stopped short of blaming caretakers of intentional abuse in the beginning. His first article on the subject was "Multiple fractures in the long bones of infants suffering from subdural hematoma". After primate studies in 1968 proved that bleeding in the brain could be caused by mechanical shaking, he thought his hypothesis was "proven", ignoring the warning from the scientist that humans were likely incapable of producing the forces achieved in his mechanical shaking studies, which was proven to be prophetic advice a few years later, and that the injured primates had neck injuries in most cases.

The evolution of the "whiplash shaking" hypothesis is detailed in the book, "THE SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME: A Multidisciplinary Approach" by proponents of SBS, as follows: Page 15-17

The book discusses the theory considered at the time that scurvy was the cause of subdural hematoma due to a weakening of the tissues and tearing of veins in the head leading to Subdural Hematoma and bleeding behind and in the eyes rather than another belief attributing Subdural Hematoma exclusively to impact injuries in most cases, or swelling/inflammation. The problem with the book is that while head impact can cause SH and RH, scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) does cause bleeding in the brain and eyes and other parts of the body, and retinal hemorrhages are being found in many cases unrelated to abuse. Vitamin C deficiency also causes spontaneous fractures in the long bones and skull, fractures from normal handling, or the false appearance of healing fractures in different stages when hemorrhages on the skin of the bone calcify and look like healing fractures. It also causes abnormal bruising, inflammation, infections--particularly respiratory and purulent ear infections--lesions on the skin and in the mouth, and every other symptom attributed to SBS, or it's more recent incarnation, Shaken-Impact Baby Syndrome or the generic descriptions more frequently used now of "non-accidental injury" or something related to "inflicted head trauma". 

Strangely, even Caffey noted that breast-fed babies were rarely found in this group, but it was treated dismissively when a colleague pointed out that poor environments where malnutrition from lack of breast feeding might occur were also likely to be situations where abuse occurred.

In later years, changes in the demographics of "abuse" were seen as more fathers, boyfriends, babysitters, and day care providers were accused of shaking abuse. No one noted that if SBS babies were almost exclusively bottle-fed, that meant mothers were out of the home working or otherwise not around to nurse and that infants were now more frequently left in the care of others.

Before a medical hypothesis becomes an "accepted medical theory" it normally goes through a rigid scientific method which includes trying to disprove it, and if successful, moving on to another hypothesis, followed by a peer review process and a lot of testing and questioning, with supporting science provided. This is a much-needed process of checks and balances in the world of science. Caffey's whiplash-shaken concept by-passed this process, possibly because prosecutors, social services, and law enforcement liked the idea and ran with it, forcing doctors and scientists to follow suit. There may be other reasons for the support of medical authorities almost too incomprehensible and abhorrent to consider--that they don't want medical causes found that might impact on their livelihoods and reputations. The possibility of a vaccination connection alone, or the use of antibiotics, their advice not to give infants juice until after 4 months, and then apple juice instead of C-loaded orange juice and other medical connections are enough for a "call to arms" against any criticism of a theory they are quite content with, particularly if they might be charged with malpractice and criminal misdiagnosis for past cases.

The Primary Published Source of "Shaken Baby Syndrome" Lacked Proper Medical Process

Dr. John Caffey

In 1972, Dr. John Caffey published an article claiming that babies were being severely damaged or killed by violent shaking incidents perpetrated by caretakers who were driven over the edge and "lost it", usually blamed on the inconsolable crying of an infant. His science was nearly non-existent, based primarily on misinterpreted data from scientific studies, assumptions, and an earlier case of a massively built nurse who admitted becoming frustrated and shaking infants in an orphanage, one of whom died, although there is no documentation that shaking was the cause of death.

He came to believe that shaking explained cases of babies with bleeding in the head, fractures, and other symptoms with no external signs of trauma related to the symptoms. He listed a set of symptoms thought to be diagnostic of shaking injuries, but he failed to examine other causes of the same symptoms in his zealous efforts to promote his unproven hypothesis of child abuse. In this failure to do DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS to eliminate medical causes before making an assumption of abuse, he violated conventional medical protocol in general and what is now very specific guidelines for emergency pediatric medical protocols which emergency doctors continue to ignore with impunity in cases of suspected abuse. This violation can threaten the life of an infant who is misdiagnosed based on flawed medical theories of cause, and at the same time devastate the lives of those falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of child abuse, their families, and everyone around them. Dr. Caffey did list "Scurvy" as a Differential Diagnosis, but he didn't test for it so it could be eliminated as the cause of the symptoms he observed, even though they were consistent with aspects of the disease, possibly before it became full-blown, due to the age of the infants.

The Extreme Importance Of Sufficient Vitamin C Consumption
Healthy breast milk contains enormous amounts of vitamin C. Baby formula has far less and can not address the extra need for this vitamin and others when infants have infections, have been vaccinated, (which acts like an infection), or when antibiotics, antihistamines and many other drugs have been administered which have a proven harmful effect on vitamin C levels.

Blood histamine levels are inversely related to vitamin C. When the vitamin level goes down, blood histamine increases instead of being neutralized by the vitamin and can become dangerous.

Natural (wild) infections and vaccine bacteria, latent infections activated by vaccines, and treatments for bacterial infections can become "endotoxemia", a potentially deadly condition caused by the breakdown of virulent bacterial cell walls, which then release endotoxins.

If the mother's prenatal diet is deficient, if she has health issues of her own or those caused by the pregnancy, the developing fetus may develop a deficiency state such as chronic subclinical scurvy which can quickly develop into accelerated Barlow's disease after birth from the above conditions, especially in mothers who smoke and consume excess sugar and caffeine.

Infantile scurvy is thought to be a disease of the past, but the use of baby formula instead of breast milk and other modern medical and social "developments" can cause vitamin C deficiency in anyone. In fact, new technology developed in the last decade in England and tested on a large cohort of adults identified signs of vitamin C deficiency in nearly all of the participants through a newly developed method of examining eyes.

Barlow's disease variant (accelerated infantile scurvy), increased blood histamine levels and endotoxemia all present with symptoms identical to those attributed to "shaken" babies, since they can all cause "capillary fragility" (a hemorrhagic condition) which affects bone formation also. This can lead to bleeding in the head, eyes, and other parts of the body, abnormal bruising, infections, spontaneous bone fractures, fractures from normal handling, or the false appearance of "healing fractures in different stages" when hemorrhaging occurs on the skin of the bones and becomes calcified, looking actually like healing fractures on x-rays and to the eye. Only microscopic examination of the callus formation can tell the difference. This is rarely done at autopsy and probably never on a living infant. Another affect of untreated Barlow's disease seen at any age is "SUDDEN DEATH".

In any other field of medicine, if proper medical procedures were ignored, doctors could expect to be brought up on charges, lose their license, be sued, and even go to prison. SBS cases remain unique. Doctors violate established guidelines without any consequences, lay claim to an unproven hypothesis which advanced to "accepted medical theory" by common usage, while bypassing all of the medical safeguards such as proper peer review and challenge of scientific evidence. Without these checks and balances, junk science becomes bad medicine.

Metabolic Disease Masquerading As Abuse?
"During one trial, the prosecution stated that infantile scurvy was no longer seen. I replied with ‘Yes it is. But it is not called ‘scurvy’, it is called the ‘shaken baby syndrome’." --Dr. Archie Kalokerinos, MD

"In many ways this is like the ‘witch hunts’ of old", Dr. Kalokerinos explains.

Dr. Archie Kalokerinos

"Because of knowledge that is now available, prosecutors (including doctors) who provide evidence suggestive of guilt, without considering the factors stated in this lecture, possibly, later, may be charged with criminal negligence. Furthermore, the issues involved are extremely complex. No single doctor can possibly claim to be an ‘authority’ on every aspect of every factor involved in the genesis of the pathologies found in 'shaken babies'. However, sufficient knowledge exists to enable one to at least cast serious doubt on the inflicted trauma hypothesis of the pathologies found in some so-called ‘shaken babies’."

"For those of you who want to investigate the subject of shaken babies in greater detail I suggest that you connect onto Pub Med, and Google. Type in endotoxin, vitamin C, blood-brain barrier, coagulation/bleeding disorders, platelets, Factor X111, axonal injury, shaken babies, collagen, and free radicals. Be prepared to spend a few years doing so, because there is an enormous amount of literature available."

"I have no doubt that this ‘shaken baby’ business will eventually be recorded as one of the worst pages in the history of paediatrics. And the saddest part of it all concerns the fact that, while important doctors are busy collecting ‘evidence’ for the prosecution, vital issues that can save many lives are being not only ignored but destroyed with intense hostility."  -- Dr. Archie Kalokerinos "Shaken Babies"

Dr. C.A.B.
Clemetson, MD

Babies do occasionally get shaken and shoved into cribs (shaken/impact) out of extreme frustration, but no reliably witnessed incident of shaking has ever produced the symptoms associated with SBS. Retinal and subdural hemorrhages--considered the hallmark symptoms suggestive of SBS these days, along with diffuse axonal injury, sometimes with broken bones or the appearance of healing fractures in different stages (particularly ribs), abnormal bruising and other symptoms found in infants assumed to have been shaken "do not necessarily indicate trauma or child abuse," said Dr. C.A.B. Clemetson, MD,  internationally-known expert on vitamin C deficiency who wrote a 3-volume book series "Vitamin C" that is still a classic in the field.

There are tests for other causes (differential diagnosis). Clinical guidelines for emergency pediatrics list potential other causes of these conditions and what tests to run for a correct diagnosis or to provide evidence of guilt through elimination of those causes. The tests that could separate the innocent from the guilty are almost never done, in direct violation of published standard operating procedures in emergency medicine.  In circumstances other than those suspected to be Shaken Baby Syndrome, a doctor could be fined, lose his license, do prison time, and/or be sued for likewise ignoring "conventional medical wisdom" in the treatment of a patient.

Instead, most cases of suspected SBS begin and end with "assumption" of guilt. Then, those who are innocent but given no hope by their defense attorneys are pushed into signing "confessions," in the way of plea bargains for reduced sentences after being told that if they demand to go to trial, they'll probably get "20-to-life" or even the death penalty in some cases, and If they don't sign, besides getting almost certain longer sentences that their partners will be prosecuted also, other children removed from the home, or some similar threat.

In many cases, healing fractures or the "appearance" of such (which will be explained) can be seen, so the threatened charge for partners would be, "they knew abuse was going on and neither stopped it nor got the infant medical care at the time." People seem unaware, ignore, or fail to consider the implications--that world-wide, but only in certain areas, people are watching prior abuse take place, doing nothing, and then allowing abusers to maim or kill infants in an explosion of assumed abuse cases that began specifically in the 1970s. This suggests the unlikely scenario of human nature changing in a certain decade, caretakers going insane in larger numbers in the 70s and battering babies in their care or committing infanticide, or that sudden physiological alterations took place that made babies more susceptible to these injuries. Some claim better diagnostic technology, more awareness and reporting are responsible. However, according to online copies of old books and reports, the same symptoms have been diagnosed at autopsy in people of all ages going back at least 150 years and more.  The question should be, "What caused the 'explosion' of cases in infants several decades ago?"

The concept of "Shaken Baby Syndrome" evolved from an article published in 1946 by pediatric radiologist Dr. John Caffey, who described finding bleeding in the head coupled with multiple long bone fractures in 6 dead infants that he attributed to whiplash-type injuries, although he came short of accusing caretakers of intentional abuse. He heard about a mentally ill nurse who claimed to have shaken 3 infants to death, and believed that "whiplash-shaking" might explain what he was seeing in dead infants with no external signs of physical trauma, which also meant there were no signs of impact to the head seen in the radiological studies he did. Unfortunately, several other likely causes (differential diagnosis) were listed, such as scurvy, but not tested for in a scientific manner and eliminated.

When research In 1972 & 1974 he published articles promoting his earlier unproven "whiplash-shaken" theory, this time attributing it directly to child abuse, which lacked supporting scientific evidence due to his use of an improper scientific method of analysis. The public ran with the idea, unaware of its insufficient scientific foundation, because it managed to slip by the usual peer-reviewed publishing process without challenge--a format that normally precedes medical concepts approved by "conventional medicine". By way of premature general acceptance, it bypassed the normal system of "checks and balances" of scientific inquiry and solid evidence and became accepted medical theory, which most of the medical, social services and legal communities took at face value without further evaluation.

Article quote "The essential elements in the infantile whiplash shaking syndrome present an extraordinary diagnostic contradiction. They include intracranial and intraocular hemorrhages, in the absence of signs of external trauma to the head or fractures of the calvaria (skull), and are associated with traction lesions of the periosteums of the long bones in the absence of fractures and traumatic changes in the overlying skin of the extremities. Usually there is no history of trauma of any kind."  --Dr. John Caffey, radiologist who first described "whiplash-shaken babies"
  • Intracranial hemorrhaging: A hemorrhage, or bleeding, within the skull. Intracranial bleeding occurs when a blood vessel in the head is ruptured or leaks. It can result from physical trauma (as occurs in head injury) or non traumatic causes (as occurs in hemorrhagic stroke) such as a ruptured aneurysm. Anticoagulant therapy, as well as disorders with blood clotting can heighten the risk that an intracranial hemorrhage will occur.
  • Intraocular hemorrhaging: Bleeding within the eyeball.
  • Traction lesions/periosteums/long bones:  Multiple fractures (or the appearance of such from callused subperiosteal hemorrhaging or bone necrosis) of the long bones
Caffey's theoretical musings attempted to explain the seemingly inexplicable.

Other symptoms found in Caffey's original 6 cases: "Caffey Revisited: A Commentary on the Origin of “Shaken Baby Syndrome” by Dr. C.A.B.Clemetson, MD

Case 1. A purulent discharge from the right ear began at age 5 months and persisted for 2 months; a convulsion due to subdural hemorrhage occurred at 7 months. Spontaneous fracture of the right radius occurred after nine days in the hospital.

Case 2. Convulsions began at age 1 month. At 7 months, the infant developed soft, spongy, bleeding gums typical of scurvy, and retinal petechiae indicative of increased capillary fragility. At age 8 months, he developed signs of subdural hematoma.

Case 3. Multiple fresh hemorrhages were present in both ocular fundi. Petechiae were also scattered on the abdominal wall, and a large ecchymoses was seen on the left side of the face.

Case 4. Radiographs showed evidence of epiphyseal separation at the proximal end of the right humerus, suggestive of scurvy.

Case 5. Subdural hematoma and bone fractures associated with otitis media were present; black-and-blue spots on the forehead and face could be interpreted as either traumatic or scorbutic.

Case 6. There was bilateral proptosis due to retrobulbar hemorrhages consistent with scurvy—akin to the unilateral proptosis seen in vitamin C-deficient 18th century sailors.

These symptoms are found in infantile scurvy which Caffey listed as a "differential diagnosis" but he failed to test for it in spite of it's likelihood. Other causes should have been examined and eliminated first, before making an assumption of "whiplash-shaken injury" based on the lack of external trauma signs.

Scurvy is seldom looked for or expected in this day and age, but new technology described in 2004 involving the examination of pericorneal vasculature for vitamin C levels provided evidence from a large study that most people (all in the study) are affected at some time by vitamin C deficiency.

(Article) The Whiplash Shaken Infant Syndrome: "Has Caffey's Syndrome Changed or Have We Changed His Syndrome?"

Yes, the SBS criteria has changed since Caffey's day which originally included abnormal bruising, skull, rib and clavicle fractures in particular and other symptoms as well as catastrophic internal conditions. These days, retinal hemorrhage (p.2 RH) and subdural hematoma are considered the hallmarks of SBS and babies are automatically assumed to be "shaking" victims in spite of the fact that each symptom has other causes. However, that only applies if the infant has left the hospital. If these symptoms are found after birth while the baby is still in the care of a doctor, which does happen, the symptoms are considered accidental--usually as birth injuries, unrelated to any shaking or impact incidents. The inconsistent "logic" of this anomaly seems perfectly clear to some, while not to others. A third major component of "SBS" diagnostic criteria today is diffuse axonal injury.

Diffuse Axonal Injury:
"(DAI) is one of the most common and devastating types of traumatic brain injury,[1] occurring in about half of all cases of severe head trauma and also occurring in moderate and mild brain injury.[2] It is a type of diffuse brain injury, meaning that damage occurs over a more widespread area than in focal brain injury. DAI, which refers to extensive lesions in white matter tracts, is one of the major causes of unconsciousness and persistent vegetative state after head trauma.[3]

Though diffuse axonal injury seldom kills, the outcome is frequently coma, with over 90% of patients with severe DAI never regaining consciousness.[3] Those who do wake up often remain significantly impaired.[4]

Nowadays, other authors state that DAI can occur in every degree of severity from (very) mild or moderate to (very) severe.[5][6] Concussion is thought to be a milder type of diffuse axonal injury.[7]

Mechanism: Unlike brain trauma that occurs due to direct impact and deformation of the brain, DAI is the result of traumatic shearing forces that occur when the head is rapidly accelerated or decelerated, as may occur in auto accidents, falls, and assaults.[8] It usually results from rotational forces or severe deceleration.[9][10] Vehicle accidents are the most frequent cause of DAI; other common causes include falls, assaults, and child abuse[11] such as shaken baby syndrome.[12]

The major cause of damage in DAI is the disruption of axons, the neural processes that allow one neuron to communicate with another. Tracts of axons, which appear white due to myelination, are referred to as white matter. Acceleration causes shearing injury, which refers to damage inflicted as tissue slides over other tissue. When the brain is accelerated, parts of differing densities and distances from the axis of rotation slide over one another, stretching axons that traverse junctions between areas of different density, especially at junctions between white and gray matter.[3] Two thirds of DAI lesions occur in areas where gray and white matter meet.[3]"

Biomechanical studies have provided evidence that in cases of physical trauma, shaking alone can't create enough force to cause the symptoms associated with SBS and that blunt force trauma to the head is needed--equal to dropping an infant from a 2-3 story building or a 35mph crash with an unrestrained infant (not strapped in a baby seat)--to reconcile symptoms with newer scientific studies. Is something else is happening to cause the steadily increasing number of cases assumed to be child abuse without direct evidence of such? An impact of that magnitude would normally produce external signs of severe trauma, but in most assumed SBS abuse cases there are no external signs of blunt force trauma found on the scalp, or just that which might be seen in an accidental falls in cases where a caretaker admits dropping a baby or describes short falls such as from a high chair or out of a crib.

In those cases where minor scalp trauma is seen, the external signs of head injury may fit caretaker explanations while the internal conditions signal otherwise--that something abnormal and life-threatening has happened. In the majority of cases, no scalp trauma is seen whatsoever. Without proof, the usual medical/legal conjecture is, "baby was probably slammed against a soft surface" such as a crib or bassinett mattress without considering that the impact of the rubbery skull of a healthy infant on a soft surface would unlikely generate the force needed to cause severe bleeding in the brain and frequently seen skull fractures. "Healthy" is the operative word here.

There has never been a reliably witnessed case of shaking or shaking/impact which produced the symptoms attributed to shaken babies then or now, and "confessions" are unreliable for many reasons. Because of this, doctors use conjecture (guessing) to explain their medical evaluations or forensic reports, such as "he/she must have thrown the baby against a wall" or "stomped on the infant's head" or "squeezed the chest" with no corroborating physical evidence such as bruising and swelling at the supposed impact or "crushing" site. In the present legal/medical environment, If the caretaker's explanation of events fails to include force of this degree, he or she is automatically assumed to be lying, the case immediately becomes considered one of child abuse without any further evidence, and conviction is almost automatic. The tests to eliminate this kind of guessing aren't being done. The same consequences of assumed guilt and nearly automatic conviction exist if such force is admitted that can't immediately be proven to be accidental, such as happened in one case where a toddler accidentally tipped a tv set on a stand down on top of his head. Even in that situation, in spite of physical evidence at the scene, the case was at first assumed to be non-accidental injury due to the symptoms alone because they were believed to be pathognomic (a medical characteristic or diagnostic of a specific disease) of child abuse. Finally, forensic and investigative evidence of the accidental nature of the incident became so convincing that the criminal investigation ended.

When a judge/jury is asked to make a decision based on an unproven hypothesis, they are being asked to guess.

Caretakers with an infant at the time of crisis when it has stopped breathing, become unconscious, gone into seizures or died, who continue to proclaim their innocence in the face of symptoms associated with SBS while having no plausible explanation about how or why a baby became unresponsive or died suddenly, or who insist an accidental short fall occurred rather than an intentional "impact" are normally threatened with 20 years to life or even the death penalty if they go to trial. Most give up hope of proving their innocence because their attorneys have done no research into alternative causes and bring nothing to the table in their defense. They take plea bargains for shorter terms or to avoid a trial with a pre-determined outcome, unaware that there are tests capable of separating the innocent from the guilty.

According to clinical guidelines in suspected child abuse cases, when a certain specific constellation of injuries seen in x-rays, CT scans and ophthalmologist exams (also referred to as a "cascade of symptoms") can't be explained by reliably witnessed or proven accidental causes such as a motor vehicle crash, the next step is to take a history from the caretaker (s). If there is no history to account for the injuries--if the account doesn't match the severity of the injuries--the caretaker is assumed to be lying and the infant the victim of non-accidental injury ...child abuse. However, to remove any question from the diagnosis, the guidelines instruct that Differential Diagnosis must be done--that is, a search for other causes capable of presenting with the same symptoms. Some but not all are listed as follows:

  • accidental trauma
  • osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease, and a temporary brittle bone condition may exist)
  • Caffey's disease: Infantile Cortical Hyperostosis (ICH)
  • scurvy
  • rickets
  • birth trauma
  • congenital Infection
  • idiopathic Thrombocytopenia purpura
  • leukemia
  • hemophilia
  • von Willebrand disease
  • recurrent pyrodermas
  • scalded skin syndrome
  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • accidental poisoning
Unidentified infant from textbook photos: diagnosis--Infantile Cortical Hyperostosis
Baby Casey forensic photos B&W: diagnosis--Shaken Baby Syndrome

Many medical authorities now believe that Infantile Cortical Hyperostosis is a form or stage of infantile scurvy

Infantile Cortical Hyperostosis (ICH) is more commonly known as "Caffey's Disease". Many online sources consider this to be a stage or manifestation of scurvy, while other list scurvy as a "differential" (possible other cause). It usually presents with a swollen lower mandible, causing the swollen cheeks, and multiple fractures in the ribs and clavicles. This was not tested for in the case of the second infant who had the same symptoms and was diagnosed with SBS.

"Other Causes" noted for their lack of inclusion: Vaccine injury, serum vitamin C deficiency (although scurvy is listed), blood histamine increase, endotoxin poisoning from vaccinations or "wild" infections, antihistamine, antibiotics. "Vaccine poisoning" is omitted but may underlie several disease conditions.

Are clinical guidelines for differential diagnosis testing that might prove innocence due to disease conditions or abnormalities simply being ignored?

In cases where gentle shaking is admitted, it usually consists of caretakers describing having gently shaken an unconscious infant to "wake it up" or as the procedure of "shake and shout" daycare providers, EMTs in training and other are taught to do to check for any sign of response before applying CPR, even to a newborn. That may be changing now with the rapid increase in babies claimed to be injured by "shaking," but it's been done for decades this way without harming the infant.

In the few cases where vigorous shaking is admitted, it nearly always has to do with desperation and extreme frustration caused by persistent "inconsolable crying" without considering that type of crying, particularly "inconsolable high-pitched crying" possibly mistaken for "colic" is very specific to several infection, septic or disease conditions--particularly within a 21 day period after a vaccination--which produce the same symptoms seen in assumed shaken or shaken/impact abuse cases, and that the conditions may have preceded the shaking.

The reasoning behind Caffey's theory and its modern day manifestations appears to be the kind of circular non-science as follows: The presence of symptoms such as retinal hemorrhages and subdural hematoma prove that a baby was shaken. How do we know it was shaken? --because it has retinal hemorrhages and subdural hematoma. (Circular Reasoning Fallacy)

Are these symptoms "pathognomic" (occurring only in these circumstances) of Shaken/Impact Baby Syndrome? No. (check symptoms in the side menu). In short, retinal hemorrhages, subdural hematoma and the other symptoms associated with SBS have other causes singly and as a group.

Are the "differential diagnosis" (other causes) usually listed in most cited, peer-reviewed medical literature on other topics ever tested for in suspected abuse cases? Almost never. The following conditions can cause a hemorrhagic condition due to "capillary fragility" resulting in abnormal bruising and hemorrhaging and bone abnormalities including spontaneous fractures, fractures caused by normal handling or minor trauma, and the appearance of healing fractures at different stages due to callus formation over subperiosteal (the skin covering on bones) hemorrhages which are indistinguishable from healing fractures on x-rays or even at autopsy unless special tests are done.

  • Vitamin C deficiency accelerated by deficient prenatal diets, smoking, natural infection, vaccination, blood histamine increases, formula feeding and/or antibiotics (requires testing in a specialized laboratory)
  • Increased blood histamine levels alone which inversely causes vitamin C deficiency or being caused by it (specialized lab testing)
  • Endotoxin poisoning from bacterial breakdown (endotoxemia) from natural infection, vaccinations, and antibiotics

An exception: a foreign medical journal account of a suspected abuse case in which differential diagnosis was properly tested for before the parents were arrested and the child was found to have scurvy/rickets rather than having been injured through abuse. A broken leg resulted from a short fall that shouldn't have caused any injury whatsoever. (link will be added later)

Do accidental cases of shaken/impact injuries of equal force produce the same symptoms? No, according to "experts" who claim non-accidental causes do so exclusively ...without regard for the known laws of physics, making SBS cases unique--an apparent scientific oddity.

Caffey's unproven theory first put forth in the 1946 was built on the shaky and unscientific basis of assumption. In later years when he more directly claimed infants were being shaken violently, he attempted to understand, define, and imply (without direct accusation of inflicted injury) that caretakers had suddenly started seriously injuring or killing infants by violent shaking out of frustration and rage because there seemed no other reasonable explanation to him for injuries without signs of battering, although he did properly list "differential diagnosis" as other causes but failed to do the needed tests to eliminate these possibilities. However, "infantile whiplash shaking syndrome" was accepted almost without question in earlier days by rumor and innuendo, without a peer-reviewed challenge, by a public left unaware that it lacked an underlying foundation of science to support it.

Perhaps people could secretly identify with the idea of a person pushed over the edge, "losing it", and violently shaking and slamming an inconsolably crying infant down in a crib in a moment of temporary insanity and were quick to condemn someone who appears to have acted on these irrational impulses. At the same time, this kind of "kneejerk" condemnation is made without considering that while such irrational urges may pass through our minds momentarily, there are powerful forces of nature that prevent infanticide in most people, and no immediate explanation as to why they would start losing control a few decades ago and then only in certain areas in the industrialized world.

In 1968, Dr. Ayab Mammoya conducted studies on primates to determine scientifically if whiplash could produce brain injury? He proved that tramatic injury to the brain--subdural hematomas or diffuse axonal injury--did occur and the point at which it happened which was at approximately 155 "g's" of acceleration force. John Caffey, obviously feeling vindicated after his own doubts, called Mammoya up in person to thank him for his article and afterwards published articles in 1972 and 1974, further promoting his theories on the subject. However, "Today, Mammoya is adamant that he told Caffey that acceleration-deceleration involved in the monkey experiment were much greater than he believed could be generated by a human."  (Military Law Review, Vol 188, P. 8)

Why Caffey ignored or dismissed Mammoya's reported warning is unknown. In a published article in 1946, "Caffey J. Multiple fractures in the long bones of infants suffering from chronic subdural hematoma. 1946;56:163-173. Am J Roentgen Rad Ther" he came short of suggesting "intentional injury". But when he published on the topic again 1972 and then in 1974, he claimed that babies get shaken and what the effect was, in his opinion, but he took his "shaking alone" theory a step further:

PEDIATRICS Vol. 54 No. 4 October 1974, pp. 396-403
The Whiplash Shaken Infant Syndrome: Manual Shaking by the Extremities With Whiplash-Induced Intracranial and Intraocular Bleedings, Linked With Residual Permanent Brain Damage and Mental Retardation ...

"Habitual, prolonged, casual whiplash shakings may produce an insidious progressive clinical picture, the latent whiplash shaken infant syndrome, which is often unapparent to both parents and physicians. It usually first becomes evident at school age when minor idiopathic cerebral motor defects are first detected along with mild idiopathic mental retardation. Permanent impairments of vision and hearing may also be identified at this time for the first time when the children are 5 to 6 years of age."

"This concept of the whiplash shaken infant syndrome warrants careful diagnostic consideration in all infants with unexplained convulsions, hyperirritability, bulging fontanel, paralyses, and forceful vomiting singly or in combination. The routine careful examination of the ocular fundi of all infants should provide a superior screening method for early and massive detection of pathogenic whiplash shakings along with radiographic examination of the long bones for confirmation in appropriate cases." --John Caffey MD

He included, "The actual number of such cases is incalculable from current evidence but it appears to be substantial."

This suggests that the caretakers of any child presenting with these symptoms should be assumed guilty of child abuse and sent to prison for assault and battery or attempted murder. Since around 25% of all school children have been categorized as learning disabled the "actual number" might run into the millions in the US alone.

  • Mild idiopathic cerebral motor defects along with mild idiopathic mental retardation
  • Permanent impairments of vision beginning at age 5-6
  • Permanent impairments of hearing beginning at age 5-6
  • Unexplained convulsions
  • Unexplained hyperirritability
  • bulging fontanel
  • paralysis
  • forceful vomiting singly or in combination

Caffey thought all babies should be examined for ocular fundal changes (which requires specialized equipment) and should regularly have their "long bones" x-rayed.

The criteria for "shaken baby" has changed. Today, the finding of retinal hemorrhage and/or subdural hematoma alone cause doctors to jump to conclusions and assume child abuse ...if at home. If found after birth in the hospital or after proven accidental injury, suddenly the same symptoms have causes other than abuse. But if we follow Caffey's suggestions, examinations would also need to include routine x-ray exams of the ribs and clavicles, MRI's of the brain to check for swelling, hemorrhaging and skull fractures, full body checks for bruising and numerous other signs found on babies currently assumed to be victims of shaking/impact.

Mammoya's stated warning to Caffey gained credence in 1987 when Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime demonstrated experimentally that humans could only produce around 9.3 "g's" of force, when around 155 g's were previously found to be required to produce even 1 of 2 symptoms (subdural hematomas or diffuse axonal injury), which meant that caretakers could not produce these injuries by shaking alone. Even though subdural hemorrhage and/or retinal hemorrhage alone are being used to accuse caretakers, the symptoms in assumed SBS cases usually include hypoxia (lowered oxygen--a cause of brain swelling resulting in hemorrhaging in itself), skull and bone fractures--particularly in the ribs and clavicles, the appearance of healing fractures in different stages, abnormal bruising and other signs, still without direct evidence of intentional physical abuse since the bruising seen in some cases bore no proximity to internal injury sites. Babies might present with ecchymoses on the face or body, but not in the area of broken bones, or with skull fractures, but with no bruising or swelling on supposed impact sites. As previously stated, no reliably witnessed act of shaking has ever produced the symptoms associated with SBS with proof that shaking caused them, nor has there been any evidence against these symptoms pre-existing in the form of medical conditions which cause the same symptoms--infantile scurvy, endotoxemia, blood histamine toxicity, and other infections or diseases.

In recent years a physician who was alerted by the field work of internationally-known Australian physician Dr. Archie Kalokerinos, who wrote a book, published articles and gave lectures on the dangers of vaccination and the resulting vitamin C deficiency problems, wrote more precisely about the causes of these problems, presenting the science to support the theories and field work successes in resolving it. He devoted the rest of his life to addressing the condition that was far more probable and likely than "shaking" to cause the conditions associated with SBS. He also re-examined Caffey's cases and conclusions and made sense out of nonsense and "junk science". Dr. C.A.B. Clemetson, MD, an internationally-known expert on Vitamin C deficiency who had books and many published articles to his credit, submitted his findings to the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 11 Number 1 Spring 2006  "Caffey Revisited: A Commentary on the Origin of “Shaken Baby Syndrome”  This noted physician spent the end of his career and life attempting to educate the medical profession and scientific community about little-known causes and the extreme dangers of vitamin C deficiency which created symptoms identical to those attributed to "shaking."

He addressed what be believed to be the medical misdiagnosis of SBS cases as abuse rather than disease and how to stop many of the very real but easily explained SIDS cases since one of the known signs of vitamin C deficiency is "SUDDEN DEATH." Dr. Clemetson continued to present his shattering scientific evidence to a seemingly disinterested audience of his peers at the risk of his own personal reputation and  professional standing, just as Dr. Kalokerinos had before him. Instead, his medical colleagues appear to embrace the theoretic, unproven "Shaken Baby Syndrome" as though it had a solid scientific foundation.

If does not. Until doctors in each case of suspected abuse use differential diagnostic testing to eliminate other causes, lives will be destroyed on the basis of symptoms which have many other causes. Even worse, what may be a highly preventable cause of SIDS and "SBS" symptoms goes on.

Why would doctors and scientists ignore or refuse to test for differential diagnosis to eliminate other causes when published guidelines instruct them to do so? Why would any competent professional apparently chose to ignore or reject any notion of medical misdiagnosis? Consider the impact on their credibility and livelihoods and the inferred legal and professional liability if a medical cause was proven in most present cases. That could potentially indicate that generations of victims world-wide have been falsely accused and wrongfully imprisoned. That might be reason enough.

A similar situation is ongoing in the present autism-vaccination link controversy, made more explosive with the recent revelation of a published study using primates to test the reaction to the same vaccine schedule that human infants are put on, with the documented findings of various levels of autism-like and other neurological symptoms developing in the vaccinated monkeys.

Wouldn't it be interesting if this same kind of primate study was expanded to include feeding the gestating females a deficient diet of "white man's food", given sugar, coffee, and nicotine to emulate smoking mothers, treated with antibiotics and antihistamines for any kind of infection preceding, following or triggered by vaccinations, and fed on baby formula?

That Caffey may have guessed wrong mattered little. People liked the "whiplash-shaken" theory, grabbed it, and ran with it without challenging the lack of scientific analysis behind it. The irony of a theory implying that caretakers suddenly, without explanation, started to injure or murder infants against all natural instincts, and that they did it selectively, in certain countries and not in others or at different ages in different countries (India reports almost no SBS cases and Japan, after changing the age of vaccination saw a corresponding change in the median age of SBS and SIDS cases)--seems lost on professionals in the field, along with logic, common sense, and mens rea: evidence of malice aforethought or sudden and spontaneous criminal intent. In fact, there has never been a single witnessed incident of shaking/impact that resulted in SBS symptoms and confessions are unreliable for many reasons. People may gently shake an infant to try to rouse it, or "confess" by way of a plea bargain to save a spouse from being threatened with prison or the inevitable threat of a much longer sentence, guilty or not, or for a number of other reasons short of the truth.

In fact, even in cases where excess shaking is admitted to and happened, the usual cause is "inconsolable crying" which is often a symptom of vaccine-induced encephalitis, suggesting the SBS symptoms may have preceded the shaking, and had nothing to do with the actual shaking incident, although shaking could obviously have made a medical condition worse in a case of brain swelling and/or "capillary fragility" or caused injury that wouldn't be seen in a less medically damaged infant.

Tragically, Caffey's "assumptions" arose from unproven science and unwitnessed but assumed abuse ...if there were no clear signs of battering, therefore the dead infant "must have been shaken to death." It was guessing. Dr. Caffey did list "differential diagnosis" (other causes) including infantile scurvy in each of the cases he wrote about, but all of the classical signs of scurvy were not present as a group in each case, although individual signs of scurvy were. However, infantile scurvy--"Barlow's disease"--normally showed up in babies over 7 months old, resulting from vitamin deficiency due to feeding on baby formula or an otherwise inadequate diet, so it wasn't expected to be seen in infants. Caffey admitted his theory was based on the flimsiest of science, but that it caught on anyway. In short, the unproven theory of "Shaken Baby Syndrome" took on a life of its own outside the realms of medicine and science. It provided someone specific to blame--the last caretaker with the baby when the crisis came. It certainly takes the heat off of doctors. And many babies are slightly shaken because when an infant stops breathing or becomes otherwise unresponsive or begins having seizures, the most normal reaction in the world is to shake it a little to "wake it up", or in the case of infant CPR training, to (gently) "shake and shout" to determine if there is any response at all, which is required before breathing into the lungs and pumping the heart. This was standard CPR training. 

"The defense had maintained throughout the January 2006 trial and the September appeal submissions that evidence did not necessarily support shaking as a cause of death, but if shaking did occur, it was only because a desperate Schoenthal had been trying to bring her son out of a lengthy seizure."

This can lead to a tragic and possibly intentional misinterpretation when terrified and traumatised caretakers add to the mythology by admitting to "shaking the baby" without realizing an attempt to save a precious life will almost always evolve into a criminal charge of "shaken baby" where the caretaker is accused of causing rather than responding to the very condition that created the crisis in the first place. At that point logic, reason and any search for other causes or actual evidence of criminal actions seem to fly out the window.

That means disregarding the recent scientific evidence suggesting the impossibility of manually shaking an infant hard enough to do serious or lethal damage without injuring the neck and spine first, or without an impact to the head comparable to a 2-3 story fall that would leave bruising, swelling, and contusions as external signs of battering. One excuse made is that slamming a baby on a soft surface wouldn't cause external trauma signs, but would a mattress cause a hard enough impact to cause massive bleeding? Newer studies suggest not.

The standard explanation for injuries caused by "shaking" involves the smaller size of an infant brain in a larger skull and the idea that the brain can bounce around inside the head when shaken, in spite of a cushion of water around it, which is why it's called "Shaken Baby Syndrome". A new development could throw this theory into chaos, and that is the finding of supposed "Shaken Child Syndrome":
Published online May 1, 2006
PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 5 May 2006, pp. e1039-e1044 (doi:10.1542/peds.2005-0811)

Findings in Older Children With Abusive Head Injury: Does Shaken-Child Syndrome Exist?
Hani Salehi-Had, BAa, James D. Brandt, MDa, Angela J. Rosas, MDb and Kristen K. Rogers, PhDb
a Department of Ophthalmology, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California
b Department of Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation Diagnostic and Treatment Center, University of California Davis Children's Hospital, Sacramento, California

ABSTRACT: Shaken-baby syndrome (SBS) has been hypothesized to occur after shaking by an adult during the first 2 years of life. We wondered whether it is possible to achieve rotational forces sufficient to cause SBS-like injuries in children >2 years of age. The present study describes cases of child abuse in older children who presented with the classic ophthalmologic and intracranial findings of SBS. In this case series, 4 cases of older children (2.5–7 years old; 11.8–22 kg) who died from abusive head injuries and who had diffuse retinal hemorrhages identified antemortem were selected for review. The cases were abstracted from hospital charts, records from autopsies, coroners' and district attorneys' offices, and court transcripts. In all 4 cases the history provided by the primary caregiver did not match the severity of the injuries*. Three case subjects presented with patterned bruises. Multi layered retinal hemorrhages and acute subdural hematoma were observed in all 4 cases. At autopsy, diffuse axonal injury was evident in 3 of the 4 cases; all 4 cases had optic nerve sheath hemorrhages. None of the victims had skeletal fractures on radiologic examination or at autopsy. This case series demonstrates that it is possible to observe SBS-like retinal and central nervous system findings in the older and heavier child. Our findings underscore the need for providers to consider intentional shaking as a mechanism of injury in the evaluation of abusive head injury in older children.

*This means that abuse was neither witnessed nor admitted to, and was assumed due the given history not matching the severity of the symptoms without differential diagnosis to eliminate other causes.

John Caffey listed Barlow's disease (infantile scurvy) as a differential diagnosis in the cases he examined and wrote about, however in modern cases where shaking/impact is suspected--any other investigation medically and legally usually comes to a grinding halt.

According to Dr. Clemetson, "Retinal petechiae, subdural hemorrhages, and even broken bones do not always indicate trauma or child abuse. Infantile scurvy or a variant form still occurs today and can be mistakenly diagnosed as nonaccidental injury (NAI). Histamine levels, which are characteristically increased in vitamin C depletion, may reach a toxic level owing to infection or the

injection of foreign proteins. Histamine intoxication can cause a variant of Barlow?s disease, with weakness of the retinal vessels and the bridging veins and venules between the brain and the dura mater in infants."

" infant can die with extensive retinal hemorrhages, a blood clot under the capsule of the brain, extensive bruises, broken bones and sores that will not heal, due to Barlow's disease without having been subjected to anything but the tenderest of loving care."
--Dr. C. A. B. Clemetson, MD

Another pioneer, Dr. Archie Kalokerinos, who received Australia's highest civilian honor for his work among aborigines suffering up to a 50% death rate following vaccinations (book: "Every Second Child")--"There is no doubt that it is possible to shake a baby to death. But in more than forty cases that I have investigated there has been real evidence to suggest strongly that the babies were not shaken but the hemorrhages that were found at the autopsies which could be in the retinas, in the brain or the membranes surrounding the brain are caused by disturbances in coagulation-bleeding factors. And the so-called fractures that are found in these babies are not true fractures. That is they are not inflicted injuries, they are due to an increased utilization of vitamin C caused mainly by the presence of bacterial toxins." 
Handbook of Nutrition and Ophthalmology By Richard D. Semba, M.D. 
Chap. 9  Vitamin C and eye health   P.377

The following photo shows an extreme case of "exophthalmos" where hemorrhaging behind the eyeball makes it bulge out. Infantile scurvy is a hemorrhagic condition. There are far more causes of vitamin deficiency than poor diet and many more symptoms and side effects than those listed here, including ...SUDDEN DEATH.

Child abuse exists. We all know it happens and the failure to recognize it in time to save a child from misery, injury or even death is unthinkable. But to falsely accuse a caregiver of abusing a child and to set in motion all of the consequences that follow such a grievous error--the horror, devastation and loss it brings to a family--is equally tragic. A mistaken diagnosis of inflicted trauma (NAI-"non-accidental injury" or NAT-"non-accidental trauma"), especially to the head, is "one of the gravest injustices of modern times", according to F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP. He went on to say that "many have recently questioned the existence of the so-called 'Shaken Baby Syndrome' and the concept that the last caretaker must have been guilty. Careful reviews often uncover relevant findings that were missed or ignored. Recent pediatric vaccinations have been suspected as precipitating factors."

Read Dr. Yazbak's article at the National Vaccine Info Center. His article focuses on multiple vaccines. This story begins with just one: the Hepatitis B vaccination...for fragile newborns, a group with such high numbers of vaccine injuries that people in France staged demonstrations against Hep B.


Another Voice Of Reason: "Apparent Life-Threatening Events (ALTEs), as defined by the National Institutes of Health, encompass all the findings hitherto attributed to "Shaken Baby Syndrome" (SBS), and may follow routine vaccination. Vaccines may also induce vitamin C deficiency (Barlow's disease), especially in formula-fed infants or infants whose mothers smoke. This could account for some of the changes seen in these infants, including hemorrhages, bruises, and fractures. Vitamin C deficiency should be excluded in patientsuspected to have SBS." --Dr. Michael D. Innis, MBBS, DTM&H, FRCPA, FRCPath, honorary consultant hematologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

In fact, there are many people investigating and reporting on the potential devastating effects of vaccination, infection, antibiotic use and accidental short falls that produce symptoms identical to those attributed to child abuse. The small but increasing group of courageous physicians and scientists now speaking out have much to say. And for the particular symptoms associated with vaccination and related adverse effects, even a new name: Clemetson-Kalokerinos Syndrome (Barlow's disease variant: accelerated infantile scurvy-endotoxemia) after the towering pioneers in the field of medicine sounding the alarm and ringing the bells in a call to arms--not guns or missiles--but in a vigorous battle cry for better science and differential diagnostic testing to separate the innocent from the guilty.

Unproven Assumptions, Medical Ignorance or Fraud Leading to Misdiagnosis Cause of Tragedy For All Involved
Unproven assumptions, false or misleading statements by doctors to investigators, tainted confessions and plea bargains coerced by threats of trial consequences, medical misdiagnosis due to a lack of Differential Diagnosis, incomplete or inadequate forensic pathology--sometimes by those without proper training, defective or rushed autopsy exams, biased interpretations of findings ...there are countless factors which may complicate these cases and subvert both truth and justice, particular when there are tests that can separate the innocent from the guilty and they aren't being done. Detailed instructions for doing proper legal and medical investigations are available in published medical guidelines for emergency pediatrics but are almost never done in suspected SBS-related abuse cases, making SBS "unique" in all of medicine.

Child abuse remains a terrible reality and it happens every day. But the rush to accuse and convict in an over-eager effort to identify and remove abusers from society, or for other reasons almost too unconscionable to consider if it turns out that doctors are intentionally blaming innocent caretakers, also leads to devastation to infants, their caretakers and the families of everyone involved in these cases.

Even worse, infants who survive long enough to get to the hospital are put at greater risk of permanent injury and death when they are diagnosed as victims of abuse in cases where they are suffering from treatable conditions and diseases. Medical misdiagnosis can kill. Consider if an infant is suffering from one of several hemorrhagic conditions and is given blood thinners, which is often the case. It could die from massive bleeding caused by medical treatment, which is then blamed on the caretaker instead. Or what if the proper treatment was a simple nutritional supplement like Vitamin C which was being overlooked? In these cases, misdiagnosis becomes medical malpractice. Those who see the signs too late have a strong incentive to hide the facts and focus the blame on caretakers. Many probably never have a clue because they haven't looked past the kind of medical dogma that will eventually be looked upon as one of the darkest periods in medical history.

Next: THE JOHN LAVERTY STORY (Under Construction)

Dianne Jacobs Thompson  Est. 2007
Also (alternative medicine featuring drugless cancer treatments)
Author publication: NEXUS MAGAZINE "Seawater--A Safe Blood Plasma Substitute?"