December 30, 2009
by Christina England
Christmas time is a time for families and a time for children but sadly many families this year faced a Christmas without their children because child protection agencies and paediatricians misdiagnosed very real conditions, opting instead to accuse parents of shaking their babies. As a result many families could not join in the seasons festivities with the children they love, they could not buy them presents or prepare their Christmas stockings and some were left with no idea where their children were or even who they were with. One such family is Zabeth and Paul Baynes, their children were removed from their care on October 22, 2007 after they say they were falsely accused of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Their story began after their baby daughter of just a few weeks old, lay on the floor on a blanket, her two year old brother came running along, tripped and fell, landing on her, banging her head with his. The baby showed no visible injuries at the time but just to be safe Zabeth and Paul had her checked by their GP who also found no apparent injury. A few days later however, she vomited after a feed and gasping for air she suddenly became listless, her parents rushed her to emergency giving her CPR on the way. Despite the need for emergency resuscitation on route the hospital were dismissive and Zabeth and Paul were surprised when, after initially hooking her up to oxygen she was given a brief examination and sent home as the hospital said that they were not equipped to treat infants. No further tests took place at the time.
Over the next few weeks the infant was repeatedly taken to the hospital, Zabeth was worried as she remained dazed and began refusing her feeds. Eventually she was transferred to another hospital where she was diagnosed with anaemia and reflux and began medication. This medication included Domperidone, Ranitidine and at one point Diazepan, it should be noted that Zabeth was also taking Domperidone to stimulate breast milk. Over the next few weeks the babies vomiting became worse and she became weaker. Zabeth also noticed that she began to have fit like episodes. On the 6th October a CT scan was requested due to the swelling of her head, however, due to sickness of the technician this could not be done for another 12 days, eventually some weeks after her initial injury had taken place a CT scan finanlly revealed subdural haemorrhaging. As soon as a bleed was identified, instead of the facts of this case being examined in detail, Dr. Colbourne a child protection doctor was brought in and accused Zabeth and Paul of shaking their little girl in a fit of rage, an accusation this couple have always refuted.