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
  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare"
    15
    0
  • #TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!

    lifebridgehealth: "#TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!"
    24
    1
  • Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM

    lifebridgehealth: "Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM"
    18
    1
  • Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise

    lifebridgehealth: "Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise"
    23
    0
  • Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai.
#SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare"
    38
    0
  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!"
    33
    3
  • #NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!

    lifebridgehealth: "#NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!"
    16
    1
  • Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk

    lifebridgehealth: "Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk"
    22
    4
  • #DYK In 1895, #SinaiHospital became one of the first medical facilities to devote an entire ward to treating children. We continue to offer exceptional pediatric care to thousands of #children in and around #Baltimore.

    lifebridgehealth: "#DYK In 1895, #SinaiHospital became one of the first medical facilities to devote an entire ward to treating children. We continue to offer exceptional pediatric care to thousands of #children in and around #Baltimore."
    29
    2
  • Nearly two dozen kids from Ohr Chadash Academy and Beth Tfiloh came to #Levindale last month to decorate the #sukkah, a temporary shelter constructed for the #Jewish festival of #Sukkot. We are so appreciative of the colorful and festive #art they created as well as for their time and enthusiasm #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Nearly two dozen kids from Ohr Chadash Academy and Beth Tfiloh came to #Levindale last month to decorate the #sukkah, a temporary shelter constructed for the #Jewish festival of #Sukkot. We are so appreciative of the colorful and festive #art they created as well as for their time and enthusiasm #LifeBridgeHealth"
    23
    0