Strangulation: What Patients and Providers Must Know

Strangulation puts a victim’s life literally in the hands of their assailant. It’s an especially vicious crime that can cause pneumonia, miscarriage, stroke and even death.

“Think of abuse on a spectrum: name calling, put downs and punching the wall are on one end of the spectrum and homicide is on the other far end of the spectrum,” says Audrey Bergin, manager, domestic violence (DOVE) program at Northwest Hospital. “Strangulation is right next to homicide. It is one of the most severe forms of abuse and can kill. And the more often you are strangled, the more likely you are to have serious injuries.”

Despite the severity of these injuries, the impact of strangulation can be minimized, even by medical professionals and the victims themselves. “When there were no or minimal visible injuries - the majority with strangulation - the injury was not adequately assessed or treated,” Bergin told “Advance for Nurses” writer Matthew T. Patton. She realized that strangulation was frequently mislabeled as “choking,” and that this diminishment could carry over to the court room. Since then, she’s become an impassioned educator seeking to help medical treatment teams understand how to identify and care for strangulation victims, many of whom come through the Emergency Department (ED).

Along with Rosalyn Berkowitz, B.S.N., R.N., a clinical leader in the ED with a background in radiology, Bergin researched non-fatal strangulation; they brought their findings to the head of Northwest Hospital’s ED, and from there, a physician strangulation protocol was developed.

According to Patton’s article, “Wings of a DOVE,” the protocol contains appropriate questions for providers to ask patients and gives them a step-by-step physical examination guide. “Staff members look for subconjunctival hemorrhage, bruising, ligature marks, finger and handprint marks, petechiae about the face, eyes and mucous membranes, or marks from the patient's struggle to release the perpetrator's hold.”

To learn more about the strangulation protocol and how DOVE’s educational outreach is saving lives, read the full article here.

 

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

Print this entry

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • What a great morning at the @kenilworthshops getting in the holiday spirit. We even had some extra help from the big man himself sharing information about #LifeBridgeHealth's services and passing out goodies at the train display we sponsored this season. #LBHTrains

    lifebridgehealth: "What a great morning at the @kenilworthshops getting in the holiday spirit. We even had some extra help from the big man himself sharing information about #LifeBridgeHealth's services and passing out goodies at the train display we sponsored this season. #LBHTrains"
    16
    0
  • Northwest Academy of Health Sciences recently had the opportunity to tour #NorthwestHospital, which is partnering with @teambcps in a unique magnet program. The students got to go behind-the-scenes to gain real-life experience and explore career possibilities.

    lifebridgehealth: "Northwest Academy of Health Sciences recently had the opportunity to tour #NorthwestHospital, which is partnering with @teambcps in a unique magnet program. The students got to go behind-the-scenes to gain real-life experience and explore career possibilities."
    21
    1
  • #Levindale had a blast celebrating the season at their annual holiday party this year! Employees enjoyed some delicious food and great company with their fellow co-workers. Check out below for some pictures from the festivities! #HolidayParty #Thankful #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#Levindale had a blast celebrating the season at their annual holiday party this year! Employees enjoyed some delicious food and great company with their fellow co-workers. Check out below for some pictures from the festivities! #HolidayParty #Thankful #LifeBridgeHealth"
    10
    0
  • Associates were all smiles at the annual holiday party for @carroll_hospital ! We are so grateful for what these amazing people do every day. #HappyHolidays #HolidayParty #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Associates were all smiles at the annual holiday party for @carroll_hospital ! We are so grateful for what these amazing people do every day. #HappyHolidays #HolidayParty #LifeBridgeHealth"
    18
    0
  • Happy #Chanukah from #LifeBridgeHealth!

    lifebridgehealth: "Happy #Chanukah from #LifeBridgeHealth!"
    19
    1
  • The holiday spirit was in the air last week during the Sip n’ Shop Event at @kenilworthshops ! To celebrate #LifeBridgeHealth’s sponsorship of this beloved holiday tradition, share your photos from the exhibit along with the hashtag #LBHTrains, and you will have the chance to receive one of four $50 gift cards. We’ll pick one winner randomly per week throughout December!

    lifebridgehealth: "The holiday spirit was in the air last week during the Sip n’ Shop Event at @kenilworthshops ! To celebrate #LifeBridgeHealth’s sponsorship of this beloved holiday tradition, share your photos from the exhibit along with the hashtag #LBHTrains, and you will have the chance to receive one of four $50 gift cards. We’ll pick one winner randomly per week throughout December!"
    17
    0
  • #SinaiHospital employees had a wonderful time celebrating at their annual holiday party this week! Thank you to everyone who joined us to commemorate another year of providing compassionate, high quality care to the individuals & communities we serve. See more pics on our Facebook page! #happyholidays #holidayparty #baltimore #maryland #hospital #healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital employees had a wonderful time celebrating at their annual holiday party this week! Thank you to everyone who joined us to commemorate another year of providing compassionate, high quality care to the individuals & communities we serve. See more pics on our Facebook page! #happyholidays #holidayparty #baltimore #maryland #hospital #healthcare"
    38
    0
  • Congratulations to these recent #LifeBridgeHealth Superstars - #Sinai Hospital's Maricel Tovera, #NorthwestHospital's Heather Wayland-Foelster, #Levindale's Lisa Greene and Kiwanda Robinson, and @carroll_hospital ’s Pam Brambeck!

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to these recent #LifeBridgeHealth Superstars - #Sinai Hospital's Maricel Tovera, #NorthwestHospital's Heather Wayland-Foelster, #Levindale's Lisa Greene and Kiwanda Robinson, and @carroll_hospital ’s Pam Brambeck!"
    13
    0
  • Race to the finish for a steaming cup of cocoa! The @jccbaltimore , a LifeBridge Health partner, and Hadassah Greater Baltimore will host the second annual Chanukah Hot Chocolate 5K Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC. It will feature a new running course and more family activities. Onsite registration will be accepted until 8:30 a.m. the morning of the event.

    lifebridgehealth: "Race to the finish for a steaming cup of cocoa! The @jccbaltimore , a LifeBridge Health partner, and Hadassah Greater Baltimore will host the second annual Chanukah Hot Chocolate 5K Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC. It will feature a new running course and more family activities. Onsite registration will be accepted until 8:30 a.m. the morning of the event."
    9
    0
  • Join us for the “Celebrate Chanukah at Foundry Row” event Sunday, Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be face painting, music, balloon art and more fun activities!

    lifebridgehealth: "Join us for the “Celebrate Chanukah at Foundry Row” event Sunday, Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be face painting, music, balloon art and more fun activities!"
    9
    0