1. Pelvic examination should only be undertaken by a forensic medical examiner (FME) unless there is significant bleeding or other injury which requires immediate medical intervention. This is to reduce the risk of forensic evidence contamination.
  2. On rare occasions, the forensic medical examiner may attend the ED to collect evidence, for example if the physical injuries sustained by the victim require ongoing management. ED clinicians should:
    • Take steps to facilitate their attendance in the context of victim consent and/or the context of a best interest decision if the patient lacks capacity to consent.
    • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, to avoid contaminating evidence.
    • Take care not to cut through areas of clothing which may be used as evidence, such as stab holes, tears or blood stains.
  3. Patients should be advised not to shower, brush their teeth, wash or dispose of clothing until they have been examined by an FME, should they consent to do so.
  4. In the department, clinicians should examine for bruising, lacerations, abrasions and bite marks.

All history and examination findings should be documented contemporaneously and acted upon in a time-appropriate manner.

Learning bite

In the absence of life-threatening haemorrhage or injury requiring immediate medical intervention, pelvic examination should only be performed by a forensic medical examiner.