Researchers have developed a tool that could help doctors identify children who are at risk of death from abusive head trauma (AHT) or shaken baby syndrome.
In study results recently published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers created a testââPredAHTââthat could help doctors determine the likelihood of a toddler under the age of two, with head injuries, being a victim of AHT.
The test consisted of a checklist of six clinical features of AHT: fractured ribs, long bone fractures, suspended breathing, seizures, retinal bleeding, and head or neck bruising. Researchers applied the test to 168 children who were two years old or younger and who had been admitted to the hospital with head injuries. Of these cases, 133 children had been confirmed as AHT cases and the remaining were non-AHT cases.
Researchers stated that the PredAHT test performed well when it came to identifying AHT cases, resulting in 72.3% sensitivity and 85.7% specificity.
The study provides an evidence-based clinical prediction tool that will help doctors make these extremely tough decisions, where the life or death of the child is in the doctorâs hands.
Researchers conclude that this tool could be used in combination with other information concerning a childâs injuries in order to reach an accurate AHT diagnosis.
Sources for Todayâs Article:
Kemp, A. et al., âValidation of a prediction tool for abusive head trauma,â Pediatrics, doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-3993, published online 27 July 2015.
Whiteman, H., âRisk of death from shaken baby syndrome could be identified with new tool,â Medical News Today web site, July 27, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297336.php.