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Pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner care: trace forensic evidence, ano-genital injury, and judicial outcomes.

Research paper by Gail G Hornor, Jonathan J Thackeray, Philip P Scribano, Sherry S Curran, Elizabeth E Benzinger

Indexed on: 29 Aug '12Published on: 29 Aug '12Published in: Journal of Forensic Nursing



Abstract

Although pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (P-SANEs) have been providing care for over two decades there remain major gaps in the literature describing the quality of P-SANE care and legal outcomes associated with their cases. The purpose of this study was to compare quality indicators of care in a pediatric emergency department (PED) before and after the implementation of a P-SANE program described in terms of trace forensic evidence yield, identification of perpetrator DNA, and judicial outcomes in pediatric acute sexual assault.A retrospective review of medical and legal records of all patients presenting to the PED at Nationwide Children's Hospital with concerns of acute sexual abuse/assault requiring forensic evidence collection from 1/1/04 to 12/31/07 was conducted.Detection and documentation of ano-genital injury, evaluation and documentation of pregnancy status, and testing for N. gonorrhea and C. trachomatis was significantly improved since implementation of the P-SANE Program compared to the historical control.The addition of a P-SANE to the emergency department (ED) provider team improved the quality of care to child/adolescent victims of acute sexual abuse/assault.