UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Trauma

Title: Traumatic injuries associated with sexual assault

Keywords: sexual assault, injury, trauma, intimate partner violence (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/28/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 4/2/2023) (Updated: 6/16/2024)
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A retrospective review of patients over age 13 presenting to one urban level one trauma center and one urban community hospital looked at traumatic injuries in patients presenting for sexual assault. They looked at 157 patients and found 61% of assailants were acquaintances, 22% strangers, and 15% intimate partners. One third of all patients had some traumatic injury however only 12 patients has serious injuries such as non-fatal strangulation or a fracture. Assault by an intimate partner was more likely to lead to injury/trauma including non-fatal strangulation. Drug and alcohol use was not associated with presence of injury.

References

Traumatic Injuries in Sexual Assault Patients in the Emergency Department

Denise McCormack, et al. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine Volume 23, no5; September 2022