What Killed Leah Miller
Abuse or Natural Causes?
Department of Biological Sciences
An Amish infant suddenly dies and law enforcement officials suspect the parents of child abuse. But experts who advocate for the parents argue that an underlying genetic disorder common among the Amish may have resulted in the baby’s death. Students assume the role of a police detective and answer questions regarding blood clotting and shaken baby syndrome. They then piece together their information and decide if the evidence is in favor of the parents or the police. The case was written for a two-semester anatomy and physiology course, but is also appropriate for undergraduate physiology and human biology courses.
- Describe the typical symptoms of shaken baby syndrome (abusive head trauma).
- Associate the signs and symptoms of shaking with anatomy and physiology of the brain.
- Describe the three basic steps of hemostasis.
- Explain why vitamin K and normal liver function are essential to the clotting process.
KeywordsShaken baby syndrome; head trauma; brain injury; hemostasis; coagulation; blood clotting; subdural hematoma; vitamin K; liver function; Amish
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsDiscussion, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsPhysiology | Anatomy | Biology (General) |