Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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July 1, 2014

UPDATE: APD credits ER for quick action, diagnosis in infant's injury

ASHLAND — A 20-year-old Ashland man has been charged with injuring a 2-month-old infant on Monday night.

Joseph W. Blankenship was arrested after the Ashland Police Department received a call from the Emergency Room at King’s Daughters Medical Center in reference to suspicious life-threatening injuries to the infant.

After arriving at the hospital it was determined the infant was suffering from a left subdural hemorrhage, or brain bleed. There was other evidence the injury was non-accidental trauma.

The infant was later transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital for further treatment.

APD Maj. Todd Kelley credited the KDMC emergency room for quick action and diagnosis of the infant’s injury.

“There was no visible injury but the doctor went further with the diagnois,” Kelley said. “Through some X-rays they were able to determine the subdural hemorrhage.”

Blankenship, who is the live-in boyfriend of the infant’s mother but is not related, was alone with the infant when the “Shaken Baby Syndrome” occurred at a residence on Reeves Boulevard in Ashland.

During a “cooperative conversation” with detectives at the hospital, Blankenship said “the baby was crying a lot and he thought maybe he had shaken it,” Kelley said.

It was Blankenship who called Boyd County EMS because the baby was unresponsive, according to Kelley.

The baby was transported to KDMC where the ER doctor immediately started examinations.

“Give credit to the ER physician for noticing something was wrong,” Kelley said. “That 2-month-old baby can’t speak for itself.”

A pediatric trauma team from Cabell Huntington Hospital came to KDMC and immediately began treatment, Kelley said.

Once the baby was stablilized they transported the infant to Huntington around 9 p.m.

The infant is listed in critical but stable condition.

Detectives from the APD responded to assist with the initial investigation that  resulted in Officer Josh Steele arresting Blankenship, who was charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child less than 12 years of age.

He was lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center and is expected to be arraigned today.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

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