The severe head injuries that led to the death of a Calgary baby were not the result of accidental trauma, a neuropathologist testified Wednesday.
Dr. Atilano Lacson told the court that he examined the brain, eyes and spinal cord of little Jayden Cyluck Kurucz after the three-month-old’s death on April 27, 2018 at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
The Edmonton doctor said the child’s internal injuries and lack of external trauma were consistent with being caused by an acceleration and deceleration of his head, something that can happen when a baby is shaken, or on a soft surface is thrown, such as a couch, several times.
“It will depend on how many times that throw occurs,” Lacson told Crown prosecutor Hyatt Mograbee.
He said shaking would cause the brain to move “front to back, or side to side”.
“All of this causes the brain to move inside the cranial cavity,” Lacson said.
Such an injury will cause changes to the neurons, which transmit information between different areas of the brain and between the brain and other parts of the body.
“The neurons are really just ghosts of themselves,” Lacson said of such changes.
“In this case, most of the neurons in the brain and the spinal cord underwent similar changes.”
An examination of the eyes helps to determine the cause of the injuries.
“The eyes are especially examined when there is a history of suspected trauma,” he said.
“The retinal scan … showed several areas of hemorrhage.”
Anthony Karl Kurucz is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jayden, who died two days after the defendant called 911 to report that his son was in medical distress.
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Lacson said he reviewed Jayden’s medical history and noted that the child was previously healthy.
“It is very significant as far as I can tell from my review of the clinical history that Jayden was declared normal by his pediatrician the day before,” Lacson said.
“This child … had been healthy up to that point.”
According to a statement of agreed facts, the boy was seen by a doctor on April 23 and found to be a “healthy child”.
Based on his investigation, Lacson concluded that the child’s death was the result of “non-accidental trauma”.
“This patient was subjected to acceleration/deceleration forces because we found no external injuries,” he said.
“This is very similar to non-accidental trauma.”
But Lacson said he could not give a time estimate on when the injuries occurred relative to EMS arriving to find the baby in cardiac arrest.
The trial continues on Thursday.
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