Pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner care: trace forensic evidence, ano-genital injury, and judicial outcomes

J Forensic Nurs. 2012 Sep;8(3):105-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2011.01131.x. Epub 2012 Feb 21.


Introduction: Although pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (P-SANEs) have been providing care for over two decades there remain major gaps in the literature describing the quality of P-SANE care and legal outcomes associated with their cases. The purpose of this study was to compare quality indicators of care in a pediatric emergency department (PED) before and after the implementation of a P-SANE program described in terms of trace forensic evidence yield, identification of perpetrator DNA, and judicial outcomes in pediatric acute sexual assault.

Method: A retrospective review of medical and legal records of all patients presenting to the PED at Nationwide Children's Hospital with concerns of acute sexual abuse/assault requiring forensic evidence collection from 1/1/04 to 12/31/07 was conducted.

Findings: Detection and documentation of ano-genital injury, evaluation and documentation of pregnancy status, and testing for N. gonorrhea and C. trachomatis was significantly improved since implementation of the P-SANE Program compared to the historical control.

Discussion: The addition of a P-SANE to the emergency department (ED) provider team improved the quality of care to child/adolescent victims of acute sexual abuse/assault.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amylases / analysis
  • Anal Canal / injuries
  • Anal Canal / pathology
  • Blood
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chlamydia Infections / transmission
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Forensic Nursing / methods*
  • Genitalia / injuries
  • Genitalia / pathology
  • Gonorrhea / transmission
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Physical Examination
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rape / diagnosis*
  • Rape / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Saliva / enzymology
  • Semen
  • Young Adult


  • Amylases