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The dynamics of shaken baby syndrome

Morison, Christopher Neil (2002)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of child abuse estimated to occur to one in 20,000 babies and presumed to occur when a carer cannot cope with a constantly crying child and so gives it a sharp shake. This causes the brain to move within the skull, stretching and possibly tearing the veins that bridge the fluid filled gap. To better understand this condition, experiments were performed to measure the mechanical properties of bridging veins followed by detailed mathematical modelling of the motion of a baby’s brain in response to shaking. Few finite element models of shaken baby syndrome exist, and those either ignore the fluid surrounding the brain or model it as a soft solid. The importance of modelling the fluid properly is demonstrated, and the reliability of MSC.Dytran’s fluid-solid interaction modelling is confirmed. The first three-dimensional finite element model of shaken baby syndrome which accurately includes the cerebrospinal fluid is created and used to estimate tolerance criteria for causing subdural haematoma by shaking. This research concludes that shaking of a baby could produce bridging vein strain close to the tolerance for failure and hence should be considered a possible cause of subdural haematoma.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Hodgson, David C.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Engineering
Department:Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering
Additional Information:

A chapter drawn from this research is published in: Shaking and Other Non-Accidental Head Injuries in Children (Clinics in Developmental Medicine, MacKeith Press, 2006, ISBN 9781898683353)

Keywords:Biomechanics, Brain, Cerebrospinal Fluid, CSF, Finite Element Analysis, FEA, Head Injury, Modelling, Subdural Haematoma, Hematoma, Pediatric, Paediatric, Bridging Vein, Shaking, Impact
Subjects:TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
QA Mathematics
RJ Pediatrics
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:64
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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