Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dad charged with aggravated battery for abuse of 4-month-old son; baby in critical condition (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Dad ELVIN CABRERA has been jailed on aggravated battery charges in the abuse of his 4-month-old son. The baby has injuries consistent with being violently shaken, and is hospitalized in critical condition on a ventilator.

It's nice that this hospital provides education to mothers on "quieting a crying baby." But the biggest perpetrators of shaken baby abuse are, in order: Fathers, boyfriends/stepfathers, and babysitters. Moms are usually about 4th on the list. Check out the shaken baby tab for the relevant research.

Dad arrested in suspected case of child abuse
Updated: Wednesday, 10 Mar 2010, 6:25 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 10 Mar 2010, 10:50 AM EST

Reporter: Gene Rodriguez
Editor: Hyacinth Williams

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indianapolis father is in the Marion County Jail while his 4-month-old baby is in critical condition and on a ventilator at Riley Hospital for Children.

Metro detectives have been investigating this case since Saturday afternoon. The baby has been on a ventilator since Friday night. And the father has been under suspicion since doctors called the Department of Child Services.

The father, 21-year-old Elvin Cabrera told investigators the baby was ill Friday night so he took him to Wishard Hospital.

Doctors transferred the baby immediately to Riley Hospital and called the Department of Child Services. DCS notified police at about 4 p.m. Saturday.

Investigators say doctors tell them the baby has injuries consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Shaken Baby Syndrome expert Nena Ray with Methodist Hospital's Think First Program said, "If we see little blood spots all over that's usually retinal hemorrhages which are very common with shaken baby."

She also said there are an average 1400 shaken baby deaths every year in the United States. Ray even invented a doll that illustrates the damage shaking can cause to a babies brain. She said the doll is the size of a 4-month-old baby.

Ray explains the difference in playing with your baby and violently shaking your baby and the damage it causes.

"And if I throw him in the air and catch him a couple of times, do you see any bleeding or simulating? Because that doesn't cause it. But when I get violent and say ‘Shut up be quite, I can't stand it' (as Ray shakes the doll). Then you will see all of the damage. And if you notice the back of the head is first because that first thrust backward will take out the vision the occipital lobe of the brain is right there. And then usually the frontal lobe is next and that's your memory and your emotions in that area. And then the last is this middle part of the brain. And usually if the middle part of the brain is damaged the baby will die," explains Ray.

Methodist Hospital provides all new moms with education on quieting a crying baby.

All of them must watch a video on how to soothe their babies safely. And they provide take home guides that give parents and caregivers step by step instructions. The video is also in Spanish.

Meantime, Cabrera is facing a preliminary Aggravated Battery charge. That charge may change after the Prosecutor's Office reviews the case. Also, the baby's condition will be taken into consideration as well.