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 866-404-DOCS.

Print this entry

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • #TipTuesday: A yearly #physical exam by your family’s #pediatrician is an important part of your child’s #healthcare. Make an appointment this #BackToSchool season. #health #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: A yearly #physical exam by your family’s #pediatrician is an important part of your child’s #healthcare. Make an appointment this #BackToSchool season. #health #LifeBridgeHealth"
    5
    0
  • Participants in #Levindale's Adult Day Services Program had a great time at their recent #luau, complete with festive #leis. The Adult Day Services Program combines fun #social #events with #rehabilitation and #therapy to help seniors avoid long-term care. #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Participants in #Levindale's Adult Day Services Program had a great time at their recent #luau, complete with festive #leis. The Adult Day Services Program combines fun #social #events with #rehabilitation and #therapy to help seniors avoid long-term care. #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
    9
    0
  • Taylor, a patient at the #LifeBridgeHealth Alvin and Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute, loves "Cherry" the #monkey. Cherry was part of Taylor's "#GivingComfort" kit, which was provided through a partnership with the McKesson Corporation. The kits are given to cancer patients undergoing treatment, and include #comfort items like soft blankets, yummy snacks, uplifting messages, and even new friends! #Health #Healthcare #CancerPatient #BeatCancer

    lifebridgehealth: "Taylor, a patient at the #LifeBridgeHealth Alvin and Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute, loves "Cherry" the #monkey. Cherry was part of Taylor's "#GivingComfort" kit, which was provided through a partnership with the McKesson Corporation. The kits are given to cancer patients undergoing treatment, and include #comfort items like soft blankets, yummy snacks, uplifting messages, and even new friends! #Health #Healthcare #CancerPatient #BeatCancer"
    12
    1
  • #TipTuesday: If you are age 20 or older and have not been diagnosed with #cardiovascular disease, @american_heart recommends having your #cholesterol levels checked by your #health care provider every four to six years. #heart #hearthealth #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: If you are age 20 or older and have not been diagnosed with #cardiovascular disease, @american_heart recommends having your #cholesterol levels checked by your #health care provider every four to six years. #heart #hearthealth #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
    6
    0
  • Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth #SuperStar employees of July! These individuals have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #EmployeeOfTheMonth #HealthCare

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth #SuperStar employees of July! These individuals have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #EmployeeOfTheMonth #HealthCare"
    6
    3
  • #TipTuesday: When #exercising, breath in and out through both your mouth and nose. According to @PreventionMag oxygen helps fuel your #fat burn, so the more efficiently you #breath, the better your #workout #results will be. #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: When #exercising, breath in and out through both your mouth and nose. According to @PreventionMag oxygen helps fuel your #fat burn, so the more efficiently you #breath, the better your #workout #results will be. #LifeBridgeHealth"
    3
    0
  • The #LifeBridgeHealth team is deeply saddened by the passing of Lenny “Batman” Robinson. Over the years, Lenny has done so much to lift the spirits of our patients young and old. Here he is pictured with our own Dr. Herzenberg at our Save-a-Limb race Earlier today, Dr. Herzenberg gave a thoughtful tribute to Lenny on @wbalradio. Our condolences go out to Lenny's family, friends and legions of fans. Lenny was truly a superhero to us. #WeAreBatman

    lifebridgehealth: "The #LifeBridgeHealth team is deeply saddened by the passing of Lenny “Batman” Robinson. Over the years, Lenny has done so much to lift the spirits of our patients young and old. Here he is pictured with our own Dr. Herzenberg at our Save-a-Limb race  Earlier today, Dr. Herzenberg gave a thoughtful tribute to Lenny on @wbalradio. Our condolences go out to Lenny's family, friends and legions of fans. Lenny was truly a superhero to us. #WeAreBatman"
    22
    0
  • #SneakPeek: Exciting things are happening in the #epilepsy program at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, and we're making a #video to tell you all about it. #StayTunned to see the finish product in the coming weeks. #Hospital #HealthCare #Baltimore #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#SneakPeek: Exciting things are happening in the #epilepsy program at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, and we're making a #video to tell you all about it. #StayTunned to see the finish product in the coming weeks. #Hospital #HealthCare #Baltimore #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #LifeBridgeHealth"
    6
    0
  • #TipTuesday: Sitting at a desk for an extended period of time can have a negative impact on your #health. “Luckily, the solutions to this mounting threat are simple. When you have no choice but to sit, try switching your slouch so you have a straighter spine.” - @medicaldaily #backpain #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: Sitting at a desk for an extended period of time can have a negative impact on your #health. “Luckily, the solutions to this mounting threat are simple. When you have no choice but to sit, try switching your slouch so you have a straighter spine.” - @medicaldaily #backpain #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
    5
    0
  • In honor of International Assistance #Dog Week, we’d like to recognize our #loyal companions who devote themselves to #helping individuals enhance the quality of their lives. Pictured below are Laurie Walters and Puck, two #volunteers with the ‪#‎CarrollHospital #pet therapy program, which unites #animals with #patients, visitors and staff to provide comfort and affection.‪#‎IADW #ServiceDog #PetTherapy #HealthCare

    lifebridgehealth: "In honor of International Assistance #Dog Week, we’d like to recognize our #loyal companions who devote themselves to #helping individuals enhance the quality of their lives. Pictured below are Laurie Walters and Puck, two #volunteers with the ‪#‎CarrollHospital #pet therapy program, which unites #animals with #patients, visitors and staff to provide comfort and affection.‪#‎IADW #ServiceDog #PetTherapy  #HealthCare"
    7
    0