“Do You Need a Paramedic?” The Role of Emergency Medical Services in Non-Fatal Strangulation Cases

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.

This is where EMS responders play a critical role. When responding to domestic violence calls, 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.

This chapter covers:
The Role of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Strangulation Cases
911 Call: Do You Need A Paramedic?
When to Transport a Strangled Victim
Duty to Warn
Training is Critical
Training for EMS Responders is Optional in 48 States
Resources for EMS Responders
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