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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2001 Nov;14(4):175-80.

Adolescent sexual assault: documentation of acute injuries using photo-colposcopy.

Author information

1
University of California, San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA 92103-8449, USA. jadams@ucsd.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To document the frequency and types of genital injuries in adolescent women examined acutely following a sexual assault, and determine any historical correlates of injury.

DESIGN:

Retrospective chart review.

SETTING:

Sexual Assault Response Team services at a community hospital in an urban setting.

PATIENTS:

All female patients aged 14-19 yr who were referred by law enforcement for an acute sexual assault examination and were examined between May 1994 and May 1999.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The frequency of signs of genital trauma at various anal and genital sites, as recorded by the examining clinician.

RESULTS:

Charts of 214 female subjects (mean age 16.3 yr) were reviewed. The most common findings were posterior fourchette tear (36%); erythema of the labia minora, hymen, cervix, or posterior fourchette (18%-32%); and swelling of the hymen (19%). Time to examination was highly correlated with the degree of injury noted (P =.000). The incidence of hymenal tears in self-described virgins was higher than in nonvirgins (19% vs. 3%, P =.008); however, the total number or severity of other injuries was not significantly higher in virgins. Victims reporting anal penetration had a higher frequency of anal injuries than those who denied such contact (14/31, 61% vs. 2/150, 1%; P =.000).

CONCLUSIONS:

Tears of the posterior fourchette or fossa were the most common findings (40%). Hymenal tears were uncommon, even in self-described virginal girls. Timely examination of adolescent victims is important to document injuries; however, many victims will still not have signs of bruising, abrasions, or tears.

PMID:
11748013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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