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Dont blame the messenger: a response to Debelle et al and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

05 May 2018

Instead of acknowledging the clear lessons of the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU’s) review, Debelle et al1 choose to attack the messenger for delivering news about the impoverished state of the medical literature on shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.

They criticise the SBU’s literature search, but fail to put forward the body of unbiased literature that the SBU has supposedly overlooked, which suggests that the SBU has been thorough.

They claim the SBU is inconsistent by saying that shaking may cause the triad and that there is insufficient evidence that the triad is diagnostic for shaking. However, this is no more inconsistent than saying that influenza can cause headache but headache is not diagnostic of influenza.

They claim that the SBU’s research question, the specificity of the triad as an indication of shaking, is clinically irrelevant. Yet elsewhere they acknowledge the significance of isolated...

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Archives of Disease in Childhood