Pediatric abusive head trauma (AHT), or shaken baby syndrome (SBS), is a severe form of child abuse that most often involves infants. The term “shaken baby syndrome” has been used for decades to describe abusive head trauma inflicted on infants and young children. Shaking can cause neurological injury, but blunt impact, or a combination of shaking and blunt impact can also cause injury, hence the term AHT. The outcome of this violent action can be complete recovery, permanent brain damage or death. Head injuries are the chief cause of traumatic death and the leading cause of child abuse fatalities in children younger than 2 years. Early recognition and diagnosis is essential. Healthcare professionals often miss the signs and symptoms, which can be attributed to the lack of external signs of abuse. Recognition of high-risk families and education for parents and caregivers are key to prevention of pediatric abusive head trauma.
This course has been approved for 2 hours by the Commission on Case Manager Certification for 2013 and 2014.
The goal of this pediatric abusive head trauma continuing education program is to provide nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and social workers information about the incidence, mechanism of injury, risk factors, clinical presentation, physical findings, prognosis, and prevention of pediatric abusive head trauma in infants and children. (Note: The term “shaken baby syndrome” will also be used; it is widely used in the literature and a recognized term although shaking alone may not account for all injuries.) After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- Identify the risk factors, clinical presentation and physical findings of pediatric abusive head trauma in children
- Discuss the mechanism of injury of pediatric abusive head trauma and the diagnostic workup and prognosis
- Describe how healthcare providers as a team can educate families, the public, and other healthcare professionals about pediatric abusive head trauma to help reduce the incidence, morbidity, and mortality
Content Level: Intermediate
Instructional Method: Online Course — Clinical Vignette & Narrative
Domain of OT: Areas of Occupation
Domain of OT: Context and Environment
This course is intended for an interprofessional audience, including nurses, paramedics and EMTs, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, speech-language pathologists, and social workers.
Occupational therapists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
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OnCourse Learning is an approved provider of continuing education for occupational therapists by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
OnCourse Learning is also accredited by the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy (provider # FBN 50-1489).
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Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.
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