Monday, September 22, 2014

Simulation doll demonstrates effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome

CoxHealth Trauma Services is using a new tool to educate the families of newborns the consequences of shaking a baby.

“We are using an interactive simulation doll to help demonstrate the effect of Shaken Baby Syndrome to an infant’s brain,” explains Jason Martin, Trauma Nurse Clinician, Injury Prevention Outreach Coordinator, CoxHealth. “The doll has a clear skull, providing a view of what takes place inside a baby’s head when shaken.”

Devastating brain damage can occur after just a few seconds of shaking an infant. The infant simulator cries inconsolably, just like real infants do. When shaken, accelerometers inside the head measure the force on the brain. Corresponding LED lights immediately show damage to specific areas of the brain in real time.

The simulation doll has been used for nearly a decade in off-site demonstrations at schools and more. Now, it is used to educate the families of newborns in the CoxHealth Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “Eventually, this will be an education we take to the families of all newborns at CoxHealth,” explains Martin. “We really want parents to walk away understanding that babies cry and there are other ways to help the baby, through soothing tips and calming techniques.”

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a form of abusive head trauma and inflicted traumatic brain injury. It results from shaking an infant by the shoulders, arms, or legs. SBS may result from both shaking alone or from an impact.