How should the victim’s clothing be documented in a medical examination

The following evidence from patients, along with filled-out paperwork, is usually sent to the crime lab chosen by the local government and its about Medical Examination. 2 Some places may need to collect more or different information.

Medical Examination

Specimens

Trained examiners should use the patient’s medical forensic history and physical evaluation to guide the process of gathering evidence. Instructions that come with the kit could be helpful for people who have never collected proof before. But it’s important to remember that the instructions for the equipment shouldn’t be read out loud in front of the patient. Doing so could cause more emotional damage after the attack. Examiners should write down why they didn’t get any of the requested evidence on documentation forms.

Specimens

Clothing

Gather evidence from clothes. In cases of sexual assault, clothing is often a key piece of evidence. It gives a place to look for traces of things like sperm, saliva, blood, hairs, fibres, and other items from the crime scene. Foreign things can be washed off or worn off the body, but the same can often still be found on clothing long after an attack. Damaged or torn clothing may be necessary because it may show that force was used (do not cut through any existing holes, rips, or stains on clothing). Suppose the examiner sees damage to the clothes. In that case, they should ask the person if the injury happened during the attack or if it was there before the attack. Evidence found on patients’ clothes can be compared to evidence found on suspects and at crime scenes. Items like underwear, socks, blouses, shirts, and pants are often taken from patients. Coats and shoes are collected less often because they are less likely to be useful as evidence. Their loss can be a significant financial problem for victims. 3 Transgender people may not want to get rid of prostheses and other similar items because they are expensive or make them feel safer.

Clothing

Procedure

The following are some of the procedures that may be used to gather clothes, undergarments, and foreign material that has been dislodged when undressing:

  • As a barrier, spread out a clean sheet from the hospital on the floor. After that, lay the barrier sheet on top of the collecting paper. Take extra precautions to avoid contaminating the evidence. Keep a record of all of your discoveries. Ask patients to disrobe (assisting them as requested and then draping them appropriately). 4 When the patient is asked to strip, shoes should first be removed. Then they should undress over the collecting paper to ensure that any foreign material that is displaced is captured. 5 It is recommended that everyone who helps do so while wearing gloves.
  • Gather any clothes that may be relevant to the attack. First, it is essential to ascertain whether patients are still wearing their clothing either during the assault or soon after. If this is the case, the clothing article in question needs to be inspected for any obvious foreign material, stains, or damage. After it has been established that some artefacts have a possibility of containing evidence, it is necessary to gather those items. Suppose it is determined that patients are not wearing the same clothing they wore either during or immediately after the assault. In that case, examiners need to inquire as to the location of that clothing. This should be done whether it was discovered that patients were not wearing the same dress during or immediately after the assault. Suppose the article of clothing has not been brought to where the examination is taking place. In that case, law enforcement (if they are involved) should be given information regarding the site of the article of clothing so that it can be retrieved and examined before any potential evidence is destroyed. It is possible that it is also vital to collect the underwear that patients are wearing at the time of the exam, in addition to managing the underwear that was worn either at the time of the assault or soon after it (if relevant to the case).

documented in a medical examination

  • Take care to limit the number of clothes you bring as proof. Take the patients’ jackets and shoes, for instance, only if it is judged that there is a possibility of evidence being on such items. The examination facility may work in conjunction with advocacy organizations to ensure that patients have access to replacement clothes in various styles and sizes. In some circumstances, it is essential to wear this attire (e.g., a patient may own only the clothing that is being collected).
  • Tampons and sanitary napkins should be gathered in case a female or transgender male patient is menstruating. After being exposed to air for as much of its drying time as feasible, put each one in its own paper collecting bag.
  • When handling and transferring wet evidence that cannot be dried thoroughly at the test site, follow the rules established by the relevant jurisdiction (e.g., damp clothing, tampons, and sanitary napkins). When it is being transferred, you need to ensure that it is sealed in containers that cannot leak and are kept apart from any other evidence. It is of the utmost importance to notify the relevant law enforcement authorities and the staff working in the crime lab about wet evidence and the need for quick analysis or additional drying. 7
  • After the articles have been dried, following the policies of the relevant jurisdiction, put each piece of clothing and collecting paper in a separate paper bag, label the bag, and then close and initial the bag. If more bags are required, be sure you only use brand new paper bags designed for supermarket shopping. The barrier sheet is not included in the evidence that is being presented.

Collect debris

Collect dirt, leaves, fibres, and hair that can be seen on the patient’s body on a collection sheet. Package, label, seal, and initial the seal.

Fingernail evidence: Ask patients if they scratched the suspect’s face, body, or clothes. If so, or if you see fibres of other things under a patient’s fingernails, take fingernail clippings, scrapings, or swabs, depending on the rules in your area. 10 If fingernail scrapings are taken, put the samples and the tools used to get them in a bag, label it, seal it, and put your initials on it. Cut broken fingernails at the jagged edge so you can compare them later. If the patient is wearing fake fingernails or nail extensions, another nail should be sent as a known sample if one is missing. Label, package, seal, and sign the seals.

Collect debris

Collect dirt, leaves, fibres, and hair that can be seen on the patient’s body on a collection sheet. Package, label, seal, and initial the seal.

Fingernail evidence: Ask patients if they scratched the suspect’s face, body, or clothes. If so, or if you see fibres of other things under a patient’s fingernails, take fingernail clippings, scrapings, or swabs, depending on the rules in your area. 10 If fingernail scrapings are taken, put the samples and the tools used to get them in a bag, label it, seal it, and put your initials on it. Cut broken fingernails at the jagged edge so you can compare them later. If the patient is wearing fake fingernails or nail extensions, another nail should be sent as a known sample if one is missing. Label, package, seal, and sign the seals.

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