Creative Weapons

Posted

What are some everyday items/materials your patients have used to hurt themselves, other patients, or staff?

I'm doing an in-service soon on the importance of patient and environmental safety checks in inpatient mental health facilities. I need your input, experiences, and stories! We all know how creative patients can be!

Thanks!

A&Ox6, MSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics/Developmental Pediatrics/Research/psych. Has 13 years experience. 4 Articles; 572 Posts

Fingernails: this patient was on a 1:1 and multiple medications. However, the patient succeeded in causing multiple infected wounds by persistent scratching. Apparently she figured out how to use friction. She had been working in healthcare for a while, and she successfully caused herself to get systematic MRSA.

MMC.RN

MMC.RN

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatry. Has 2 years experience. 72 Posts

We had a patient once who found really tiny rocks out on our patio and use them to cut himself. Despite the multiple room searches we did we never found where he would hide the rocks he found. Eventually he confessed that he hid the rocks in a safety pen.

SarahMaria

SarahMaria, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Forensics, Addictions. Has 10 years experience. 300 Posts

Pencil lead in the light socket will spark enough to light a paper on fire. We had a major fire on the unit.

Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education. 3,458 Posts

The little mesh screens that are on faucets to aerate the water...a patient used one of those to cut her wrists.

MMC.RN

MMC.RN

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatry. Has 2 years experience. 72 Posts

Pencil lead in the light socket will spark enough to light a paper on fire. We had a major fire on the unit.

Also little bits of paper torn up can also cause fires.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,974 Posts

When I was IP one guy snapped his plastic toothbrush in half and used it to cut his wrists.

amoLucia

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

Hairbrushes! Seems innocuous enough, but the bristles cause nasty scratches topically. Can also be used for injury to others & self-injury when used in body orifices.

Ladyscrubs

Specializes in Nursey stuff. Has 36+ years experience. 144 Posts

An older women was admitted for new onset delirium and tried to strangle me with her Jobst hose. She was only about 90 pounds soaking wet, but she had the strength of Hercules and those hose are super tough with little stretch.:eek:

We also have had to move the code carts with the monitor/ defibrillator into the med room, because we had a bad incident where a patient, who claimed to be a member of the Justice League was using his super powers and the defibrillator paddles to deflect bullets and ward off wifi mind reading. It was both a safety and cost issue...when security tackled him, they accidentally ripped some wires.

WinterLilac

WinterLilac

Specializes in Psychiatric. Has 5 years experience. 168 Posts

I work in recovery where residents live in their own unit in a complex (one unit in the centre is the office). We have people who do become quite unwell and have access to a range of things to self harm (or attempt suicide). Although we take all knives/scissors etc we had one resident buying razor blades online and delivered directly to her. Another resident drank Ajax Spray'n'Wipe because she felt 'dirty inside'. We have a very fine balance of keeping people safe but allowing them to have control over their environment.

adnrnstudent

adnrnstudent, ASN, RN

Has 5 years experience. 353 Posts

Had a patient make a shank out of pork chop bone.

sarabellum1

sarabellum1

54 Posts

Wow! Thank you guys for your feedback! Keep it coming! :up: