Skip to Content



Joining Forces Joining Families, Fall 2019

The subject of this JFJF is head trauma related to infant/child abuse, sometimes in the past referred to as “shaken baby syndrome,” but more accurately now called abusive head trauma (AHT). We present an interview
with Kent P. Hymel, MD, a pediatrician specialized in child abuse. He is Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, Hershey, PA. The interview describes what
constitutes AHT: the mechanisms of injury, his research on developing an evidence-based screening tool for physician use in order to minimize missed cases of AHT, and a procedure for estimating the probability that a head injured child has been abused based on the outcome of the medical workup. Additional articles supplement Dr. Hymel’s interview by providing information on the incidence of AHT, clinical findings, outcomes, and programs to prevent AHT in young children. Our statistics article gives descriptions of sensitivity and specificity, which are used in developing screening tools. Websites of Interest includes Dr. Hymel’s research network, the PediBIRN, as well as other sources of information on AHT for clinicians, caregivers, and educators.