Safety

How to survive a hospital shooting

Hospital Safety Insider, May 8, 2014

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An active shooter at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 2010 set the groundwork for a daylong symposium last month about how staff should prepare and react to gunfire, a threat becoming more commonplace in U.S. hospitals.
 
The symposium, profiled on the website medpagetoday.com, was designed to address the growing problem of violence in hospitals. In one report, there were 154 hospital shootings from 2000 to 2011 across 40 states and roughly 30% of them occur in emergency departments.
 
Hospital safety experts on the panel at the event included Mike Thiel, director of security for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, whose facility dealt with a shooter last year. In that event, after running for their lives, staff ran back to help the man after he yelled “I can’t see!” By opening a security door, he said staff inadvertently allowed the man to escape police who had pepper sprayed him.
 
Experts say ED staff need better training not only on preventing and responding to violence, but also weighing the ethics between personal safety and patient safety in a crisis situation, as well as what to do to help protect the scene until police and other trained responders can get there to help.



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