A head CT scan does not show any acute traumatic intracranial abnormalities. A neck CT angiogram shows no evidence of tracheal or vascular injury. Immediate and follow-up social services are offered in the emergency department. Upon discharge, the patient is referred to a local concussion clinic that specializes in victims of IPV.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 39 – No 03 – March 2020
Dr. Rozzi is an emergency physician, director of the Forensic Examiner Team at WellSpan York Hospital in York, Pennsylvania, and chair of the Forensic Section of ACEP.
Dr. Riviello is chair and professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common in victims of intimate partner violence (IPV).
- Strangulation often accompanies TBI in IPV.
- Patients may suffer repeated TBI over short periods of time, similar to athletes.
- Patients may experience chronic, long-term sequelae of their TBI.
- Emergency medicine clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for TBI in IPV victims and refer them to specialized clinics.
- Devries KM, Mak JY, García-Moreno C, et al. Global health. The global prevalence of intimate partner violence against women. Science. 2013;340(6140):1527-1528.
- Kwako LE, Glass N, Campbell J, et al. Traumatic brain injury in intimate partner violence: a critical review of outcomes and mechanisms. Trauma Violence Abuse. 2011;12(3):115-126.
- Valera EM, Berenbaum H. Brain injury in battered women. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003;71(4):797-804.
- Smirl JD, Jones KE, Copeland P, et al. Characterizing symptoms of traumatic brain injury in survivors of intimate partner violence. Brain Inj. 2019;33(12):1529-1538.
- Wilbur L, Higley M, Hatfield J, et al. Survey results of women who have been strangled while in an abusive relationship. J Emerg Med. 2001;21(3):297-302.
- McKinlay A, van Viet-Ruissen C, Taylor A. Traumatic brain injury among mothers identified as having a high risk of child maltreatment: a pilot study. J Fam Viol. 2014;29(4):391-395.