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
  • Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #TeamLifeBridge [From top left to bottom right: Dujon Williams of #CarrollHospital, Gladys Cox of #NorthwestHospital, Timothy Squire of #Levindale, and Sean Curran of #SinaiHospital] #EmployeeAppreciation #HealthCare #Maryland

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #TeamLifeBridge
[From top left to bottom right: Dujon Williams of #CarrollHospital, Gladys Cox of #NorthwestHospital, Timothy Squire of #Levindale, and Sean Curran of #SinaiHospital] #EmployeeAppreciation #HealthCare #Maryland"
    23
    0
  • To celebrate #RandomActsofKindnessDay, the Employee Activities Committee at #SinaiHospital and Interim COO Jonathan Ringo, M.D. joined forces to greet employees on their way into work, to give them a delicious cup of hot chocolate! Thanks to all the employees who stopped by and joined us! #RAKWeek2017

    lifebridgehealth: "To celebrate #RandomActsofKindnessDay, the Employee Activities Committee at #SinaiHospital and Interim COO Jonathan Ringo, M.D. joined forces to greet employees on their way into work, to give them a delicious cup of hot chocolate! Thanks to all the employees who stopped by and joined us! #RAKWeek2017"
    21
    0
  • #DidYouKnow #Heartdisease doesn’t only affect men. It is the leading cause of death for women as well as men in the United States. To help educate our community about this disease, Dr. Bridgette C. Provost of BW Primary Care, a #LifeBridgeHealth partner, spoke about the misconceptions of heart disease in women at our “Girls Night Out” community event on February 2. #HeartMonth #HeartHealth #KnowYourNumbers

    lifebridgehealth: "#DidYouKnow #Heartdisease doesn’t only affect men. It is the leading cause of death for women as well as men in the United States.
To help educate our community about this disease, Dr. Bridgette C. Provost of BW Primary Care, a #LifeBridgeHealth partner, spoke about the misconceptions of heart disease in women at our “Girls Night Out” community event on February 2.  #HeartMonth #HeartHealth #KnowYourNumbers"
    18
    0
  • #DYK Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the U.S., but 80% of all strokes are preventable. #WednesdayWisdom #KnowYourNumbers (📸 credit: @american_heart)

    lifebridgehealth: "#DYK Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the U.S., but 80% of all strokes are preventable. #WednesdayWisdom #KnowYourNumbers (📸 credit: @american_heart)"
    11
    0
  • We had a great time decorating cupcakes today with @hopeforhenry today! #ValentinesDay

    lifebridgehealth: "We had a great time decorating cupcakes today with @hopeforhenry today! #ValentinesDay"
    19
    0
  • What's happening here? #LifeBridgeHealth is getting ready to launch our latest #employee engagement survey, and we're peeling back the curtain on how it all works. We're doing a video with our survey consultant to explain how his company gathers employee feedback while keeping individual responses anonymous. #behindthescenes #staytuned #Maryland #employeeappreciation

    lifebridgehealth: "What's happening here? #LifeBridgeHealth is getting ready to launch our latest #employee engagement survey, and we're peeling back the curtain on how it all works. We're doing a video with our survey consultant to explain how his company gathers employee feedback while keeping individual responses anonymous. #behindthescenes #staytuned #Maryland #employeeappreciation"
    17
    0
  • As part of our #employee engagement initiative, we asked employees to share with us what they like best about working at #LifeBridgeHealth. Here's what one #SinaiHospital employee had to say. #Healthcare #Hospital #LoveWhereYouWork #DoWhatYouLove

    lifebridgehealth: "As part of our #employee engagement initiative, we asked employees to share with us what they like best about working at #LifeBridgeHealth. Here's what one #SinaiHospital employee had to say.

#Healthcare #Hospital #LoveWhereYouWork #DoWhatYouLove"
    18
    0
  • One of #CBS News’ favorites, #CharlieRose, is to undergo heart surgery. @LBHealth Dr. Christopher Kwon takes the mystery out of the surgery and tells us what we should all know tonight at 5 pm on CBS #Baltimore. #Maryland #HeartHealth #HeartMonth

    lifebridgehealth: "One of #CBS News’ favorites, #CharlieRose, is to undergo heart surgery. @LBHealth Dr. Christopher Kwon takes the mystery out of the surgery and tells us what we should all know tonight at 5 pm on CBS #Baltimore. #Maryland #HeartHealth #HeartMonth"
    21
    0
  • The new signs are here! Check out these bright banners around the #SinaiHospital campus highlighting some great achievements, including the U.S. News & World Report rankings for the hospital itself as well as the Departments of Neurology and Neurology. #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Healthcare #Hospital

    lifebridgehealth: "The new signs are here! Check out these bright banners around the #SinaiHospital campus highlighting some great achievements, including the U.S. News & World Report rankings for the hospital itself as well as the Departments of Neurology and Neurology. #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Healthcare #Hospital"
    41
    1
  • #LifeBridgeHealth has gone red! Today the staff across our facilities wore red to support the #AmericanHeartAssociation and their fight against heart disease and stroke! #GoRedWearRed #HeartHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth has gone red! Today the staff across our facilities wore red to support the #AmericanHeartAssociation and their fight against heart disease and stroke! #GoRedWearRed #HeartHealth"
    24
    1