Published Nov 3, 2003
A nurse was stabbed in MonteFiore's ER in the Bronx, NYC yesterday in an unprovoked attack - by a 60 yr old female dialysis pt who had a large knife hidden in her comb. She was stabbed in the arm - 6 cm long, jagged 3-4 cm thick and deep enough to expose tendons. The nature of the wound was such that if the patient had struck a neck, chest or face, there could have been critical, even fatal, consequences.
Except for the supervisor, no hospital administrators appeared in the ER to show support to this nurse (she was discharged about 5 hours after the injury -- one of the wonderful Plastic Surgery attendings came in from home and repaired her arm). The chief admin. for the ER showed up about 4 hours after she had left - and sent a fruit basket to her home.
Messages of solidarity and support from other Rns would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to
What exactly was happening immediately before this incident took place?
I would like to send encouragement to this nurse.
You know, I am more worried about something like this happening than I am contracting AIDS or HepB or C. It would not surprise me in the least for a disgruntled family member who thinks "we" didn't take "appropriate" care of their loved one to pull such a stunt. Especially since 9/11.
I am not sure how it is at other hospitals, but where i am employed, the security guards are older retired men, who do not appear in the best of health themselves. How then are they going to protect the emplyees? This has been discussed with our DON and CEO, but so far nothing has changed. I just hope an incident like this does not have to occur before something is done. Just my point of view:
LilgirlRN, ADN, RN
We don't have the information about what happened just before this nurse was stabbed, but I am going to assume that this nurse didn't threaten the patient's life. The only time it's acceptable (IMO) to stab someone is if they are threatening to kill you or someone you love right then and there. Dolphin, I'm about to agree with the other posters and assume that there is something wrong with you. Perhaps it's you that has the Borderline Personality and it's you that has been restrained to the point ot having PTSD? If this is the case then I am sorry that you have these things wrong with you. However, nurses didn't do this to you. Please stop posting in an antagonzing manner. I am an ED nurse and I can assure you that if this patient had been acting nuts and we had the ability to restrain her, then the nurse would not have been stabbed. Nowadays, there is so much paperwork involved in physically restraining someone, I just don't do it anymore. I do value my personal safety, I will stay out of a patient's room if a get even an inkling that there is something not quite right. I WILL call security and have them stationed outside the patient's door for MY safety, NOT theirs. It's crazy that crazy people have more rights than we do.
Nurse stabbed in ER fray
An angry patient stabbed a nurse in the emergency room of a Bronx hospital yesterday, cutting her to the bone, police said.The suspect, Odessa Hammie, 57, was arrested but remained at Montefiore Medical Center for treatment, officials said.
The stabbing occurred after the 56-year-old registered nurse, whose name was not released, tried to move Hammie's gurney in the emergency room at 111 E. 210th St. about 3 p.m., cops said.
"She was upset at being moved from one location to anther," a Police Department spokesman.
Hammie allegedly pulled a knife disguised to look like a comb. The weapon is illegal because its blade is more than 4 inches long, the spokesman said.
The victim, whose right arm was cut, was treated at the hospital and released, Montefiore spokeswoman Pamela Adkins said.
Cops said Hammie, of Undercliff Ave. in Morris Heights, was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Her medical condition was not disclosed.
Cops said the hospital makes its own security arrangements.
"We don't discuss hospital security measures with the public," Adkins said, adding, "In an emergency room, the first priority is taking care of the medical needs of patients."
traumaRUs, MSN, APRN
How awful for this nurse! I too work in an inner city ED and we have great security concerns. I've been hit in the face by a drunk patient who I then had arrested and sent to jail. In Illinois - its an automatic felony to assault a healthcare worker and this includes pre-hospital folks too. I enjoy caring for patients, but my safety comes first. We restrain first and do paperwork afterwards.
Wow! That says it all right there! Maybe if their first priority was safety and security of STAFF, their PATIENTS would all be safer and getting better care in a safer environment--and there would be AT LEAST one fewer patient, because this nurse would not have been one of them! When is administration going to realize that if they take care of their staff, the staff will take care of them?
sending my message off today.....
that is outrageous. and they wonder why nurses are leaving in droves. the job itself is hard enough w/o being attacked by patients INSIDE the ED.
thank you for this informative article, jt.
A month ago, a nurse was found unconscious in an ICU room in this county. The patient had strangled her with a BP cuff. The nurse survived but was admitted to the hospital. Except for nurses in the community talking about it, no coverage existed. There was reported short staffing that shift. What an opportunity for the facility to step forward and declare their support of nurses and plans for prevention of future dangers. Instead, they buried it, minimized it. No respect.
In an average year (excepting 2001), more nurses die from job related injuries than police officers and firefighters combined.
Why not? Who are the nurses in the community talking about it to??? If its just amongst themselves, no surprise then if no one else knows about it. Did the nurses report it to the newspaper and TV? Did any nurses write a slew of letters to the local news editor? Did they report the incident to the Florida State Nurses Assoc? Or to the Depart of Health? Or OSHA? Or the police? Were the nurses out there protesting in front of the hospital and informing the community of what happened inside the place? How is there going to be any coverage if we arent there making it happen?
I cant imagine that those Florida nurses would not rile up over this - considering the recent, well-publicized deaths of other Florida nurses at the hands of their pts.
Thanks for your support. The press was notified - print and TV. They confronted the facility who DENIED any incident. The victim is too shaken to act now. Multiple letters were sent. We are all not sure why the police etc have not acted - or maybe they have quietly. We are all under the impression that the very large hospital system is using their clout to minimize this. After reviewing the 60 Minutes report on all the wrangling going on with the result being nursing danger - I am fed up. Until nurses really put their brain power (and we are all very smart!) behind the issues and care for ourselves and each other as much as we care for our patients, the current status will prevail.
AMEN We are smart enough but do we have enough GUTS to stand up to the adm?
My husband was the chief union steward for his plant but couldn't get ANYONE to stand up to management! They were afraid of losing their income, but would call in and short themselves of $!!
Nurses and EMT's have been brainwashed into believing that if we aren't there to treat our patients then we are guilty of abandonment. If every nurse in the entire country, went on strike for 24 hrs. most of our problems would see the light of day. We need to broadcast loud and long about the conditions we work under.
Doctors have done it in several areas of the country. Can you imagine EVERY nurse, whether, in the hospital, LTC, office, Home Care etc. just stopping for 24hrs... what that would do to healthcare services in this country?
Nurses have ALOT of power; we just don't use it! It really wouldn't even have to be 24 hrs.
Off my soapbox now.... Sorry, but if we don't stand up for ourselves NO ONE else will!!
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