Course Summary

Pediatric abusive head trauma, commonly known as shaken baby syndrome, is a form of child abuse that can result in significant morbidity and mortality. The traditional explanation for pediatric abusive head trauma was that violent shaking of the child or infant by an adult caused shearing and breaking of blood vessels in the brain and the eyes; however, many authorities feel that shaking alone cannot account for the damage seen in such head trauma cases. The prevalence, recognition and prevention of pediatric abusive head trauma is important for health clinicians in emergency departments and in general practice. The following sections will discuss the mechanisms of injuries, the risk factors for pediatric abusive head trauma, and the clinical characteristics for specific injuries. This will aid clinicians with detection, diagnosis, and prevention of pediatric abusive head trauma.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Incidence and Recognition of Abusive Head Trauma
    • Detection of AHT
    • Prevalence of AHT
  • Child Abuse in Infants and Young Children
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome
    • Mechanisms of Injury from Shaking
    • Secondary Injuries from Shaking
  • Child Abuse in Infants and Young Children
  • Patterns and Risk Factors of AHT
    • Child’s Age and AHT
    • Crying and the Inconsolable Infant
    • Other Considerations that Suggest AHT
    • Pediatric Anatomy
  • Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis
    • AHT Triad
    • Isolated Incident
    • Fractures
    • Imaging and Testing
  • Differential Diagnosis for AHT
    • Retinal Hemorrhage
    • Subdural Hemorrhage
    • Encephalopathy
    • Testing and Consultation
  • Management and Prevention
  • Case Study: Pediatric AHT
  • Summary


Noah H. Carpenter, MD

Dr. Noah Carpenter is a Thoracic and Peripheral Vascular Surgeon. He completed his Bachelor of Science in chemistry and medical school and training at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Carpenter completed surgical residency and fellowship at the University of Edmonton and Affiliated Hospitals in Edmonton, Alberta, and an additional Adult Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has specialized in microsurgical techniques, vascular endoscopy, laser and laparoscopic surgery in Brandon, Manitoba and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and in Colorado, Texas, and California. Dr. Carpenter has an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Calgary, and was appointed a Citizen Ambassador to China, and has served as a member of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives, the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories, Canada Science Council, and the International Society of Endovascular Surgeons, among others. He has been an inspiration to youth, motivating them to understand the importance of achieving higher education.

Jennifer McAnally, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Jennifer McAnally holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and specializes in the field of family psychiatry. She has worked in child and adult mental health and substance use treatment settings for over 10 years. She worked previously in academic research settings and as the medical device division manager of a biomedical firm and tissue bank. She has also worked in regulatory oversight of Medicaid programs at the state level. Jennifer’s earlier degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with emphasis on whole-genome bioinformatics, both from Montana State University. Jennifer is a passionate activist in the field of mental health services, and is dedicated as a mother of two children, to family and to her community in Montana.

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