Shaken Baby Syndrome Imprisonment by Misdiagnosis

rib_fractures-2Shaken Baby Syndrome Imprisonment by Misdiagnosis

by Jeffrey Dach MD

Over the past 30 years thousands of parents have been falsely accused, found guilty and imprisoned for “shaken baby syndrome”, a diagnosis  of child abuse based on Xrays showing fractures, intracerebral and retinal bleeding.  Left image shows  old rib fractures (yellow arrow) on chest xray of infant.  Is this diagnostic of child abuse ? What other diagnostic possibilities should be considered?  Courtesy of Radiology Assistant.

John Caffey Pediatric Diagnostic Imaging 12th editionJohn Caffey Pediatric Radiologist Invented “Shaken Baby Syndrome”

John Caffey, author of the1946 authoritative textbook of pediatric radiology,  coined the name “shaken infant syndrome”.(15)  Left Image 12th edition Caffey’s Pediatric Diagnostic Imaging.

“In 1946, John Caffey described multiple fractures in the long bones of infants suffering from chronic subdural hematoma. None of the parents reported any knowledge of falls or physical injury, but Caffey suspected child abuse to explain the injuries. Following this retrospective, radiological study by Caffey, the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome (including retinal petechiae, multiple fractures of the long bones, and subdural hematomas) evolved and has resulted in many men and women being convicted of child abuse, all without any meaningful consideration of a differential diagnosis”.(6) (Clemetson 2006)

Radiologists Now Questioning John Caffey’s Authoritative Bible

Illinois radiologist David Ayoub MD and pediatrician Edward Yazbak MD have studied the issue and found that many of these cases are not child abuse.  Rather, many of these unfortunate babies have underlying metabolic bone disease associated with prematurity, chronic pneumonia, maternal and fetal Vitamin D3 deficiency, Vitamin C deficiency, Vitamin K deficiency, all aggravated by aluminum adjuvants in multiple vaccinations given early in the first few months of life.  The underlying metabolic bone disease predisposes these babies to fracture.  Coagulation disorders, and hypoxia predispose to intracerebral bleeding which may occur in-utero or associated with traumatic birth.

Fractured Femur: Wife Abuse or Metabolic Bone Disease?

incidence-of-femoral-shaft-fracture-in-women-treated-with-bisphoshonates2The left image is an Xray showing  a mid femur fracture.  Is this a traumatic fracture caused by wife beating,  “Battered Wife Syndrome”? Or Metabolic Bone disease?:  If you guessed metabolic bone disease, you would be correct.   This middle aged female had been treated many years with a bisphosphonate drug which created a metabolic bone disease, with a spontaneous mid-femur fracture occurring with NO trauma.

Left image : Cortical Thickening, and obvious Tranverse Mid Femur Fracture in a patient on osteoporosis drugs-  Bisphosphonate. Image courtesy of Dr Jörg Schilcher and Per Aspenberg, Acta Orthop . 2009 August 7; 80(4): 413–415. Incidence of stress fractures of the femoral shaft in women treated with bisphosphonates.

Child Abuse Does Exist

Needless to say, child abuse does exist.  Some children are unwanted, and there are no doubt many cases of infanticide by parents who consider killing their child more convenient than caring for a demanding infant.

Imprisonment_for_shaken_baby_syndromeHowever, to incarcerate innocent parents and caregivers based on a false medical diagnosis of “Shaken Baby Syndrome”  is equally unjust.  The diagnosis of child abuse vs. metabolic bone disease requires appropriate testing for metabolic bone disease, and applying thought and consideration to the case.  Hopefully pediatric radiologists and pediatricians can be educated quickly enough to bring a halt to the unjust imprisonment of innocent parents. Its bad enough to grieve over a lost infant.  To grieve from inside a prison cell wrongly convicted of killing your own child is a bit too much.  Wrongful Imprisonment image courtesy of David Feldman Web Site.

Overturning the Convictions

After many long years of imprisonment, parents wrongly convicted of “shaken baby” are now being released, and convictions overturned,  thanks to Drs.  David Ayoub and Edward Yazbak who have devoted themselves to helping these innocent people.

Update 2/22/18 : The James Duncan Story: Florida Dad Wrongfully Convicted for Shaking Baby and Served 20+ Years of a 70 Year Sentence Featured on CNN

Jeffrey Dach MD
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Links and References

1)  Blumenthal, I. “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Postgraduate Medical Journal 78.926 (2002): 732–735. PMC. Web. 1 June 2015.

2)  Tissue scurvy misdiagnosed as shaken baby syndrome Michael Innis 2014 Clinical Medicine Research 2014; 3(1): 6-8   Tissue scurvy misdiagnosed as shaken baby syndrome homicide Michael D. Innis
Retired Haematologist Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane Australia

Michael D. Innis, Tissue Scurvy Misdiagnosed as Shaken Baby Syndrome Homicide, Clinical Medicine Research. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2014, pp. 6-8.

“Tissue Scurvy” is an autoimmune disorder in which there is an abundance of Vitamin C in the body(unlike the Seafarer Scurvy of yesteryear) but it is inhibited from entering the tissue cells to perform its functions of maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels and skeletal tissue and partaking in several enzymatic reactions because of the lack of insulin which is essential for the transfer of Vitamin C into the cell. The result is the development of fractures, hemorrhages and other lesions of Scurvy. Here it is shown a child alleged to have been murdered by being shaken to death was found to have hyperglycemia, implying insulin deficiency and concomitant Tissue Scurvy. It is concluded that the diagnosis Shaken Baby Syndrome, and all examples of unexplained fractures, bruises, retinal and subdural hemorrhages with encephalopathy – the so-called “TRIAD” – are in fact an autoimmune disorder following antigenic stimulation in a genetically susceptible child. Vaccines administered within 4 weeks of the onset of symptoms are the most common cause. The Shaken Baby Syndrome is a fabricated diagnosis and has no place in medical jurisprudence.

3) Is Shaken Baby Syndrome Often Misdiagnosed and Caused by Vaccine-Induced Rickets?  By: TLB Staff  Published January 8, 2015, in HEALTH

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Vol. 11, No. 1, spring 2006 issue.  Also available at

4) J.E. Leestma. Shaken Baby Syndrome”: Do Confessions by Alleged Perpetrators Validate the Concept? J Am Phys Surg. 2006; 11(1): 14-16. Also available at

5) MD Innis. Vaccines, Apparent Life-Threatening Events, Barlow’s Disease, and Questions about “Shaken Baby Syndrome. J Am Phys Surg. 2006; 11(1): 17-19. Also available at

6) C.A.B. Clemetson. Caffey Revisited: A Commentary on the Origin of “Shaken Baby Syndrome” J Am Phys Surg. 2006; 11(1): 20-21. Also available at

7) J.E. Leestma. “Case analysis of brain-injured admittedly shaken infants: 54 cases, 1969-2001.” Am J Forensic Med Pathol. September 2005. 26(3): 199-212. Review.

8) F.E. Yazbak. Shaken Baby Syndrome: Pitfalls in Diagnosis and Demographics. Red Flags February 2006.

9)  Child Abuse or Rickets Interview David Ayoub

10)  Shaking Wrong Beliefs By: Dr. F. Edward Yazbak

11) Shaken Baby Syndrome AAPS online

12) “Shaken baby” conviction overturned. The case of Alan Yurko 07 September 2004 Mark Struthers GP Bedfordshire, UK

13) Geddes, J. F., and John Plunkett. “The evidence base for shaken baby syndrome: We need to question the diagnostic criteria.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 328.7442 (2004): 719.

14) Reece, Robert M. “The evidence base for shaken baby syndrome: response to editorial from 106 doctors.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 328.7451 (2004): 1316.

15) Caffey, John. “The Classic: Multiple Fractures in the Long Bones of Infants Suffering From Chronic Subdural Hematoma.” Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 469.3 (2011): 755–758. PMC. Web. 1 June 2015.  Reprint from 1946 article.

16) Shaken Baby Syndrome: A Differential Diagnosis of Justice By Ken Strutin, Published on February 21, 2015

17)   World Renowned Neuropathologist has Career Destroyed for Disproving Shaken Baby Syndrome  by Christina England Health Impact News



Last updated on by Jeffrey Dach MD

Shaken Baby Syndrome Imprisonment by Misdiagnosis
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Shaken Baby Syndrome Imprisonment by Misdiagnosis
Shaken Baby Syndrome Imprisonment by Misdiagnosis
Jeffrey Dach MD
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3 thoughts on “Shaken Baby Syndrome Imprisonment by Misdiagnosis

  1. It ought to be mandatory in all suspected cases to have blood sent for urgent serum ascorbate levels as most if not all would be scorbutic especially if chronically debilitated and/or after vaccination. The late Prof. Alan Clemetson (Oxford and Tulane) with whom I corresponded, published a 3 volume 1000 page textbook “Vitamin C” in which he elegantly exposed the association with repeated atraumatic fractures and haemorrhages due to unrecognised scurvy. Indeed, failure to either test for Vit.C or to administer it in any suspected case ought to be indefensible negligence.

  2. Pingback: Misdiagnosis: Shaken Baby Syndrome – Affiliated Parents Alliance Org.

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