Nurse suffers broken jaw in patient ‘ambush’ at Abbotsford hospital

Union says patient used exercise weight to strike nurse

An Abbotsford nurse was left with serious injuries after an attack by a patient early Tuesday morning, B.C.’s nurses union says.

A patient at Abbotsford Regional Hospital “ambushed” the nurse, striking her with an exercise weight and leaving her with a broken jaw, fractured cheek bone, damaged teeth and other injuries, the union says in the press release.

The perpetrator was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, according to the union. WorkSafeBC are also investigating. After his arrest, the man was returned to ARH for more treatment, the union says.

The union has repeatedly expressed concerns about the safety of nurses in ARH’s emergency room, although the release suggests the attack occurred elsewhere in the hospital.

“I’m deeply troubled by this latest gruesome and excessively violent attack on one of our nurses,” BCNU president Christine Sorensen said in a press released issued Wednesday. “It’s time the government steps up and provides funding so that health authorities can ensure safety protocols are in place and nurses’ safety is made a priority.”

In 2017, The News obtained a copy of an internal risk assessment for the hospital’s emergency room that found that the majority of care aides or clerk nurses had been subject to physical or verbal violence. Three-quarters of ER staff who were surveyed in 2015 reported having been physically assaulted within the last year.

Update: For the BCNU, Fraser Health and B.C. Health Ministry’s response to the attack, find our latest story here.

• • • •

RELATED: Union calls for safety improvements after nurse attacked at Abbotsford hospital

RELATED: Most Abbotsford ER workers had been subject of physical violence in 2015: report

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