EMS and Paramedic Response to Strangulation Webinar

EMS responders play a critical role when responding to domestic violence calls, especially where the victim has been strangled. They can ask important questions to identify injuries that may be hidden by clothing or are internal and not visible. They can look for clues of strangulation when the victim can’t remember details or is too traumatized or afraid to speak. They will, of course, provide needed medical treatment and make appropriate transport decisions. Importantly, they can recognize and document physical findings relevant to the identification of non-fatal strangulation.

There are many reasons why injured victims decline medical attention: fear of retaliation, to protect her abuser, lack of child care, involvement by children protection services, work obligations, financial limitations, more concern for immediate safety than health, not wanting to disclose the abuse, not believing anyone can help and/or a perceived lack of time. In many cases, victims simply do not understand or under estimate the seriousness of non-fatal strangulation nor the need for medical care.