Christy Rajnes
August 2017
Neuro ICU
University of Virginia Health System
United States




Christy was the nurse caring for a patient who had been found down, unconscious/unresponsive. It was discovered that he had a head bleed, so he was flown to UVA for neurosurgical intervention. It was unclear what may have caused his head bleed, but trauma could not be excluded. While performing routine care on this patient, Christy noted blood on his sheets beneath his bottom. On further exam, there was old blood found in the rectal area without evidence of hemorrhoids. Recognizing this as concerning finding, Christy immediately reported this finding to the care team and a Forensics Team consult was initiated, which resulted in a time-critical forensic evaluation and evidence collection for this patient who could not speak for himself.
Christy's meticulous care and careful observations of this patient resulted in identifying findings concerning for sexual assault in a patient who was not able to communicate. Thanks to her quick reporting, a Forensics Team consult was initiated which resulted in the patient receiving the time-critical forensic evaluation, evidence collection, as well as STD testing and prophylaxis. Without her attention to detail, compassion, and critical thinking this crime may have never come to light and the patient would not have received the Forensics interventions he needed.