Safety

Should ER docs carry weapons?

Hospital Safety Insider, October 30, 2014

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In July, a patient shot and killed his case worker and wounded a physician at Mercy Wellness Center in Darby, Pennsylvania. The wounded physician then pulled a gun and shot the gun-wielding patient who was then subdued by other staff members in the clinic. That same week video was released from an incident that had occurred earlier this year in an ED in North Logan, Utah. In this incident, a patient entered the ED waiting room, pulled two guns, and demanded to see his doctor saying that, "Someone is going to die today." This patient was shot four times by law enforcement staff that happened to be on site for something unrelated.

After having been responsible for security operations in healthcare facilities since 1981, I could not help but analyze the police and security response, physical security measures (or lack of) emergency responders, public relations staff, and then the gun control and gun proponents during the news cycle or two after the incident.

The answer to the title question is, of course, no. But what should hospitals do to reduce the potential for these incidents and to effectively respond when they do occur?

 



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