Friday, May 30, 2014

Bulletin: Michael Beakley: Shaken baby syndrome trial under way in British Columbia; Doctor tells court injuries in 7-month-old baby's brain were akin to being run over by a vehicle. Kamloops This Week.

STORY: "Baby's injuries akin to being run over by vehicle but she was shaken: doctor" by reporter Cam Fortems, Kamloops This Week, published by the Canadian Press on Mau 30, 2014.

GIST: "Injuries to a seven-month-old baby's brain were so severe that they're typically seen in children who have been run over by a vehicle or fallen from a second-storey window, a doctor has testified. Pediatric specialist Dr. Margaret Colbourne said injuries in Hunter Beakley's eyes showed she'd been violently shaken. “There’s nothing else that would have caused this except shaking," Colbourne said. My diagnosis was abusive head trauma,” Colbourne told B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday.........It was an ophthalmologist’s report that solidified what every other doctor suspected when they examined Hunter, who began having seizures. Injuries in her eyes were “secondary to shaken-baby syndrome,” the pediatric ophthalmologist wrote after examining the baby while she was undergoing brain surgery at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver on Feb. 15, 2012. Colbourne, who is also the medical director of the child-protection service unit at BC Children's Hospital, was testifying in the trial of Hunter's father, Michael Beakley. He is charged with aggravated assault and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.........In cross-examination, defence lawyer Bob McRoberts asked Colbourne if the Valentine’s Day injury could have occurred earlier in the day or on Feb. 13, the day on which Gunn described Hunter as “inconsolable” and “not right.” “The degree of bleeding and swelling in her head, she would have appeared more abnormal than that,” Colbourne said. But she couldn’t rule out the injury happened earlier. “It’s conceivable this injury could have happened sometime in the day, during February 14th." Colbourne said milder brain injury is misdiagnosed by general physicians about 30 per cent of the time as flu-like symptoms, such as what Hunter had in previous weeks. McRoberts also noted the lack of rib injury often seen in infants who are grabbed and shaken violently. Colbourne testified the “huge, huge” hemorrhaging of blood seen in Hunter’s eyeball rarely occurs except during violent acceleration and deceleration of the head. Doctors did extensive blood work and other testing to rule out causes. By Feb. 29, 2012, two weeks after Hunter was admitted to hospital, “we didn’t need to do anymore investigation,” Colbourne said."

The entire story can be found at:


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