Sexual Assault Follow-up

Updated: Nov 10, 2015
  • Author: William Ernoehazy, Jr, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

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  • As noted above, aftercare is a vital component of recovery for the sexual assault victim. Every effort must be made to provide the victim with adequate referral to community resources.
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Further Inpatient Care

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  • Patients with coexisting injuries or psychiatric symptoms may require inpatient care, with admission to the appropriate service.
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Transfer

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  • Patients may be transferred to freestanding sexual assault clinics for evidence collection (when such centers exist); however, patients should be transferred only after coexistent trauma and disease have been assessed and treated.
  • Severe injuries may mandate transfer to regional trauma centers following surgical consultation.
  • In either case, compliance with Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements is mandatory.
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Complications

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  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • STDs
  • Posttraumatic stress reactions and disorders
  • Morbidity and mortality (arising from physical injuries incurred during the sexual assault)
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Prognosis

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  • The prognosis for sexual assault victims is generally favorable if adequate aftercare is available to assist the victim in recovery.
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Patient Education

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  • Community education about sexual violence is generally agreed to be worthwhile, although evidence for its efficacy in incident reduction is meager, at best.
  • For excellent patient education resources, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Sexual Assault.
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