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Keywords:

  • anogenital injury;
  • forensic nursing;
  • Pediatric sexual abuse nursing care;
  • trace forensic evidence

Abstract

Introduction: 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.

Method: 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.

Findings: 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.

Discussion: 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.