Research in Brief: Bruise Healing

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 - Katherine Nash Scafide (NHS’00), PhD, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A/P, assistant professor of nursing at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, served as lead author of a recent manuscript on bruise healing in Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology.

“Forensic health professionals are frequently asked by the criminal justice system to assess victims of violence to determine the approximate age of their injuries, especially bruises,” the authors write.

Previous Research

However, according to the article, most previous research into bruise healing has involved small samples sizes.  And all prior studies have not taken into account gender or skin color.

“The effect of bruise size, skin color, subcutaneous fat, and gender on bruise color or its change over time has not been sufficiently quantified in the literature,” the authors note.

Study’s Purpose

“The overall goal of this study was to create a foundation for future research that may assist clinicians to be more accurate in bruise age estimations,” the authors write.

The authors enlisted a diverse sample of study participants, including men and women with light, medium, and dark skin color.  In addition to gender and skin color, they also examined the role of fat beneath the skin.

Key Findings

“Certain bruise and subject characteristics, such as bruise size and skin color, demonstrated an important role in the color of bruises and their change over time,” the authors concluded.

The role of gender and subcutaneous fat on bruise changes over time was less clear.  Further research is recommended.

Other Authors

Other authors are Daniel J. Sheridan, PhD, RN, FAAN, Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Valerie B. DeLeon, PhD – all of Johns Hopkins University, and Matthew J. Hayat, PhD, MS, MMQ, at Rutgers University.

For more information, click here.

By Bill Cessato