Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault ('Date Rape')

Richard H. Schwartz, MD, Regina Milteer, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Falls Church, Va; and Marc A. LeBeau, MS, Chemistry Unit, FBI Laboratory, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC

South Med J. 2000;93(6) 

In This Article

Specimen Collection

Urine is the body fluid of choice for specimen collection. At least 100 mL of urine should be collected in a sterile urine specimen container with a tightly fitting lid. A urine specimen may be of little value if collected more than 96 hours after the event. If the assault occurred within the previous 24 hours, blood should also be collected and refrigerated in a gray-top tube containing sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate. The sooner the specimens are collected after the event, the more likely that rapidly excreted drugs such as alcohol and GHB will be detected.[1] The longer the delay after the incident, the lower the concentration of drug metabolite in the urine, and the greater the chance of the drug being missed by the analytical testing method. Because of the possibility of criminal intent, likely drugs such as flunitrazepam and GHB should be noted on the laboratory request form, and the physician should give permission to do GC-MS testing, if necessary. It is also advisable that all specimens be retained should future testing be required.

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