CNN and other national news agencies reported that today, an orthopedic surgeon was shot in the abdomen by a patient ‘s son, while briefing the son about his mother’s medical condition. The assault took place at the inpatient building of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The surgeon was rushed to surgery, in urgent condition, but is expected to survive. Police were called in to handle the situation. The shooter barricaded himself in the hospital room, distraught about his mother’s condition. Later, he shot both his mother and himself.
Details of the murder-suicide are still forthcoming.
The New York Times report is here.
What a crazy world! You certainly don’t expect someone to pull a gun on you when you are doing your patient care rounds on the floor. The emergency room, however, is a different story. You are always keeping one eye out for trouble there. According to the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, most physical assaults on hospital staff occurred in emergency departments. A recent study found that more than half of emergency nurses surveyed had been spat on, pushed, scratched and verbally assaulted on the job.
I take my hat off to the people that can do this every day, and still give great patient care.