Secouer le “syndrome du bébé secoué”

OXFORD – Ce qui peut arriver de plus tragique aux nouveaux parents est la mort soudaine, inattendue de leur bébé. Et ce qui pourrait être pire, que ces parents soient accusés par erreur d’avoir causé sa mort, et soient donc poursuivis, en dépit d’une mauvaise interprétation par la communauté médicale des éléments disponibles. 

Seul un petit nombre des bébés qui s’effondrent et meurent de manière inattendue dans leur première année de vie partagent un ou plusieurs des trois symptômes suivants : hémorragie en périphérie du cerveau (hémorragie sous-durale), hémorragie à l’arrière de l’œil, et gonflement du cerveau.

Ces mêmes caractéristiques sont aussi visibles chez certains nourrissons qui ont souffert de traumatismes résultant d’une chute ou d’un accident de voiture. Pourtant, de nombreux bébés présentant ces symptômes n’ont pas connu d’antécédent traumatique, de maltraitance physique ou de négligence, ni fait l’objet de constatations médicales dans ce sens (comme la présence de fractures, d’écorchures, ou d’hématomes).

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