Incidence of nonaccidental head trauma in infants: A call to revisit prevention strategies

La Verne W. Thompson, Kathryn D. Bass, Justice O. Agyei, Hibbut Ur Rauf Naseem, Elizabeth Borngraber, Jiefei Wang, Renée M. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE Traumatic brain injury is a major sequela of nonaccidental trauma (NAT) that disproportionately affects young children and can have lasting sequelae. Considering the potentially devastating effects, many hospitals develop parent education programs to prevent NAT. Despite these efforts, NAT is still common in Western New York. The authors studied the incidence of NAT following the implementation of the Western New York Shaken Baby Syndrome Education Program in 1998. METHODS The authors performed a retrospective chart review of children admitted to our pediatric hospital between 1999 and 2016 with ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM codes for types of child abuse and intracranial hemorrhage. Data were also provided by the Safe Babies New York program, which tracks NAT in Western New York. Children with a diagnosis of abuse at 0–24 months old were included in the study. Children who suffered a genuine accidental trauma or those with insufficient corroborating evidence to support the NAT diagnosis were excluded. RESULTS A total of 107 children were included in the study. There was a statistically significant rise in both the incidence of NAT (p = 0.0086) and the incidence rate of NAT (p = 0.0235) during the study period. There was no significant difference in trendlines for annual NAT incidence between sexes (y-intercept p = 0.5270, slope p = 0.5263). When stratified by age and sex, each age group had a distinct and statistically significant incidence of NAT (y-intercept p = 0.0069, slope p = 0.0374). CONCLUSIONS Despite educational interventions targeted at preventing NAT, there is a significant rise in the trend of newly reported cases of NAT, indicating a great need for better injury prevention programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-696
Number of pages408
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Abusive head trauma
  • Nonaccidental head trauma
  • Shaken baby syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Incidence of nonaccidental head trauma in infants: A call to revisit prevention strategies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this