Patient Attacks Nurse with a Fire Extinguisher; Faces Assault and Battery Charges
The nurse suffered a brain bleed after the assault, providing a “wake-up” call for tighter security measures at the hospital.
It was a scene that sadly comes as no surprise to many people employed in healthcare, yet left many people at Lowell General Hospital rattled. On July 31, a nurse at Lowell General Hospital’s Saints Campus was injured after being allegedly attacked by a patient with a fire extinguisher.
Surveillance video shows 65-year-old Jean Paul Durand striking the nurse twice as she was working with her back turned at the nurse’s station. She suffered a brain bleed and broken finger, and was taken to Lowell General Hospital’s Main Campus for treatment, reports the Lowell Sun.
Durand, meanwhile, has been charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury and assault with a dangerous weapon. He is slated to appear in court on Aug. 27. He also faces separate charges filed by the Chelmsford Police Department including assault and battery with the dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person, and malicious destruction of property.
The head of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, Katie Murphy, said she was absolutely horrified but not surprised by the attack on the nurse, and said it is a wake-up call for hospitals to take stronger security measures, reports Boston 25 News.
“Any first responders are at risk but nurses, who are on the front lines, at the bedside, in rooms alone with patients, are far more likely to be assaulted by patients,” she said.
Many nurses and law enforcement officers attribute the escalation of attacks like this to the opioid epidemic, reports Boston 25 News.
In a statement provided to the news station by the hospital, “We are conducting a full review into the incident that took place on Saturday evening to ensure we are doing all we can to protect our dedicated staff.”
The nurse is recovering at home, and a GoFundMe page has been set up by a co-worker to raise money to help with hospital expenses.