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Improving Bruise Detection with Alternate Light

NCJ Number
303692
Date Published
January 2022
Length
2 pages
Author(s)
Danielle McLeod-Henning
Agencies
NIJ
Annotation

With support from the National Institute of Justice, Researcher Katherine Scafide, Ph.D. and colleagues investigated whether or not an alternate light source is more useful for detecting and visualizing bruises than standard white light. They reported that they were five times more likely to detect a bruise on study participants with an alternate light source than with white light.

Abstract

Bruises are one of the most common injuries observed on victims of violent crime, such as victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. However, bruises can be difficult for forensic nurse examiners to detect, particularly on victims with darker skin tones. An inaccurate documentation of injuries can be detrimental to the victim’s legal case against their attacker as well as to the victim’s medical treatment. Researcher Katherine Scafide, Ph.D., was motivated by a particular case she handled during her time as a forensic nurse examiner to look to technology to address the challenge of finding effective ways to discover bruise injuries regardless of the underlying skin color. With support from the National Institute of Justice, Scafide and colleagues investigated whether or not an alternate light source is more useful for detecting and visualizing bruises than standard white light. She and her team reported that they were five times more likely to detect a bruise on study participants with an alternate light source than with white light.

Date Created: December 3, 2021