Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Children

Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Children combines all aspects of abusive head trauma cases, from identification to prosecution, into one complete reference for clinicians, investigators, prosecutors, social workers, and more. Through the expansive research, photographs, and case studies, readers will be better prepared to assess, treat, and prevent abusive head injuries in children.

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Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Children

A Medical, Legal, and Forensic Reference with Supplementary CD-ROM


Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Children addresses all aspects of abusive head trauma to form a complete reference on the subject. This text details how the scientific aspects of cases relate to the investigation and prosecution of cases involving abusive head trauma as well as issues pertaining to long-term outcome, developmental needs, and strategies for community-based education.

Containing 611 clinical photographs and detailed case studies, this book illustrates and analyzes inflicted child head injuries. Case discussions include in-depth explanations of a variety of subjects, such as shaken baby syndrome, shaken impact syndrome, differential diagnoses, forensic analysis, autopsies, prosecutorial issues, long-term care of survivors, and the role of social services.

The Abusive Head Trauma CD-ROM depicts how head injuries occur using 3-D images and animation developed from actual forensic analysis of victimized children. This product is valuable for explaining the complex biomechanics of abusive head injury to investigators and mandated reporters. Lessen confusion by learning what is and is not shaken baby syndrome with exacting animations developed by an objective and esteemed pathologist. CD is fully accessible on any PC and Mac 10.6 or lower. Newer versions of Mac operating systems will not support some of the files.

Features & Benefits:

  • Over 600 high-quality images
  • CD-Rom with forensic examples
  • Ideal for multidisciplinary use
Product Details:

630 pages, 611 images, 38 contributors

CD-ROM contains images with case studies, animated demonstrations of shaken baby syndrome, and a slide presentation with speaker’s notes. CD is fully accessible on any PC and Mac 10.6 or lower. Newer versions of Mac operating systems will not support some of the files.


Law Enforcement, Attorneys, Physicians, ER Personnel, Pediatricians, EMTs, Nurses, Medical Examiners, Coroners, Clinical Researchers, Social Service Personnel, Mental Health Professionals, Vital Statistics Personnel, Child Advocates, Child Abuse Prevention Professionals, Child Protective Services Members

Publication date:

January 2007


978-1-878060-74-7 (Print with CD)
978-1-878060-68-6 (Print without CD)
978-1-878060-08-2 (eBook)

Table of Contents

1. Current Perspectives on Abusive Head Trauma
2. Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury: Recognizing Unintentional Head Injuries in Children
3. Unintentional Head Injuries: Case Studies
4. Biomechanics
5. Abusive Head Trauma as a Medical Diagnosis
6. Neuroradiology
7. Neuroradiology: Case Studies
8. Neurosurgical Interventions
9. Neurosurgery: Case Studies
10. Ophthalmology
11. Ophthalmology: Photographic Examples
12. Associated Injuries
13. Associated Injuries: Case Studies
14. Medical Disorders That Mimic Abusive Head Trauma
15. Medical Disorders That Mimic Abusive Head Trauma: Case Studies
16. Nursing Care
17. Social Services
18. Collaborative Medical and Mental Health Risk Assessment
19. Autopsy Findings
20. Pathology: Case Studies
21. Forensic Investigations
22. Investigation: Case Studies
23. Prosecuting a Case
24. Untrue Defenses
25. Use of Technology in Presenting Evidence
26. Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Abusive Head Trauma
27. Outcomes: Case Studies
28. Prevention and Education
29. Putting it All Together: A Hypothetical Case
30. Illustrative Case Studies

Lori D. Frasier, MD, FAAP

Lori Frasier is the medical director of Medical Assessment at the Center for Safe and Healthy Families at Primary Children’s Medical Center and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah. Formerly, she was an assistant professor of Child Health and the director of the Child Protection Program and Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lori Frasier graduated from the University of Utah College of Medicine in 1995, completed her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center/University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, and held a fellowship at the University of Washington’s Sexual Assault Center. Lori Frasier has authored several articles and chapters and lectured locally, regionally, and nationally on subjects related to child maltreatment.

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Kay Rauth-Farley, MD, FAAP

Kay Rauth-Farley is a board certified pediatrician who specializes in forensic pathology (child abuse and neglect evaluation). Dr. Farley is a graduate of Creighton University, the Creighton University School of Medicine, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In 1989 Dr. Farley joined The Children’s Health Center of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona as a pediatric faculty member. She was the Medical Director of the Child Abuse Assessment Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital (now known as the Arizona Children’s Center). From 1998-2001 Dr. Farley was on the staff of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Her duties there consisted of serving as a member of the CARE team, which evaluated children suspected of being abused or neglected. Dr. Farley accepted her position as the Medical Director of Sunflower House, a children’s advocacy center, in 2003. In 2006, Dr. Farley was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Children’s Alliance, the oversight organization in DC that accredits Children’s Advocacy Centers. Dr. Farley has received numerous awards, including a proclamation from then Arizona Governor Jane D. Hull, the U.S. Customs Office in Phoenix, the Phoenix Police Department, Child Protective Services of Arizona, the Mary Paul O’Grady Award for the Pursuit of Social Justice presented by the Sisters of Mercy of St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Humanitarian Award presented by the residents and faculty of the Children’s Health Center, and numerous teaching awards.

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Randell Alexander, MD, PhD

Randell Alexander is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida and the Morehouse School of Medicine. He currently serves as chief of the Division of Child Protection and Forensic Pediatrics and interim chief of the Division of Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Florida-Jacksonville. In addition, he is the statewide medical director of child protections teams for the Department of Health’s Children’s Medical Services and is part of the International Advisory Board for the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. He has also served as vice chair of the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the boards of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and Prevent Child Abuse America. Randell Alexander has served on state child death review committees in Iowa, Georgia, and Florida, and two regional child death review committees. He is an active researcher, lectures widely, and testifies frequently in major child abuse cases throughout the country.

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Robert N. Parrish, JD

Robert N. Parrish, JD began his legal career in the Utah Attorney General’s Office in 1980. In 1983, after representing the Utah Department of Public Safety as its sole counsel and presenting criminal appeals before the Utah Supreme Court, he became a prosecutor and managed trials of all kinds before specializing in child abuse prosecution in the late 1980s. Parrish has worked on both child protection cases and criminal cases involving proof of child abuse issues. While deputy director of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome from July 2000 to 2002, Parrish consulted on hundreds of cases all over the world, authored a training curriculum for law enforcement and CPS investigators, and wrote articles and chapters for several prosecution and medical texts. Parrish has presented training in England, Australia, and throughout the United States on a variety of topics relating to abusive head trauma in children and focusing on the legal system’s role in responding to this severe form of child abuse. In 2002, Parrish returned to state government as a Guardian ad Litem, representing abused, neglected, and delinquent children in juvenile court and managing six other attorneys and staff.

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JC Upshaw "Jamie" Downs, MD

James Claude Upshaw (Jamie) Downs, M.D., is coastal Georgia’s first Regional Medical Examiner. He has been continuously employed as a Medical Examiner since 1989 and was Alabama’s State Forensics Director and Chief Medical Examiner from 1998 to 2002. He has lectured extensively in the field of forensic pathology and has presented at numerous national and international meetings in the fields of anatomic and forensic pathology. He is a consultant to the FBI Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, Virginia, having authored four chapters in their manual on Managing Death Investigation, and was primary author of the FBI’s acclaimed Forensic Investigator’s Trauma Atlas. He serves on the Forensic Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He received his doctor of medicine degree and his residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology, and his fellowship in forensic pathology from the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston). He is board certified in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology.

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The book, even by itself, has already been a tremendous resource and helped me prepare for my upcoming trial!

Sandra L. Murphy
Assistant County Attorney
Cerro Gordo County Attorney's Office, Iowa

Combining current knowledge on head trauma from several professional fields is an outstanding feature of this book; it will support clinicians, pathologists, and other medical personnel working with professionals in other disciplines as they diagnose and investigate cases of both abusive and unintentional head trauma in children.

Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP
Professor and Daniel C. Plunket Chair
Department of Pediatrics
Oklahoma University

The case examples used throughout provide an excellent way to understand the issues and challenges that are routinely encountered in the investigation of these types of child abuse incidents. This publication should be part of every child abuse investigator’s library.

Lt Bill Walsh
Dallas Police Department
Dallas, Texas

I read the chapter on prosecution on the eve of a child homicide trial and found that the factors in the Appendix described my case to a tee. It succinctly summed up the evidence a prosecutor needs to identify who abused the child and why.

Jeannette R. Gallagher
Deputy County Attorney
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
Phoenix, Arizona

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