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Injury Patterns among Female Trauma Patients: Recognizing Intentional Injury

Crandall, Marie L. MD, MPH; Nathens, Avery B. MD, PhD, MPH; Rivara, Frederick P. MD, MPH

The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: July 2004 - Volume 57 - Issue 1 - p 42-45
doi: 10.1097/01.TA.0000135491.59215.86
Original Articles
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Background: Intimate partner violence and interpersonal violence are a major source of morbidity and mortality among women. Our objective was to identify patterns of injury consistent with intentional injury in female trauma patients admitted to the hospital.

Methods: Subjects were women aged 16 to 65 years discharged from acute care hospitals in a single year with a primary diagnosis of injury. Data were collected from 14 states across the United States. Analysis was performed using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Women who suffered blunt intentional trauma exhibited very different injury patterns than those hospitalized for motor vehicle collisions or falls. The risk of facial injury with blunt intentional trauma was much higher than for other mechanisms (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% confidence interval, 4.20–5.74). Head injury was also more common in these women (odds ratio, 1.4, 95% confidence interval, 1.15–1.70).

Conclusion: Physicians can potentially improve identification of cases of intimate partner violence and interpersonal violence by understanding common injuries associated with interpersonal violence.

From the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

Submitted for publication June 18, 2003.

Accepted for publication March 8, 2004.

Presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Western Trauma Association, February 23–28, 2003, Snowbird, Utah.

Address for reprints: Marie L. Crandall, MD, MPH, Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611-2908; email: mcrandall@nmff.org.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.