Domestic Violence: The Role of EMS Personnel

Reaffirmed by the ACEP Board of Directors April 2012; October 2006

Revised and approved by the ACEP Board of Directors March 2000

Originally approved by the ACEP Board of Directors April 1995

 

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) believes domestic violence is a serious public health problem. Consequently, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel will encounter victims of domestic violence. The interactions at the scene, the potential for harm to the health care provider, and the need for special documentation and communications differ from other out-of-hospital situations.

ACEP believes that training in the evaluation and management of victims of domestic violence should be incorporated into the initial and continuing education of EMS personnel. This training should include the recognition of victims and their injuries, an understanding of the patterns of abuse and how this affects care, scene safety, preservation of evidence, and documentation requirements.

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