Massachusetts Hospital Makes Security Changes After Nurse Stabbed 11 Times

From “Massachusetts Hospital Makes Security Changes After Nurse Stabbed 11 Times”
Campus Safety Magazine (09/27/2017) Brennan, Amy

Harrington HealthCare System’s Southbridge, Mass., hospital began implementing new security measures in September following the June stabbing of a nurse by a former patient. Elise Wilson was working as an emergency room nurse on June 14 when 24-year-old Conor O’Regan stabbed her 11 times. Doctors say Wilson almost died from tremendous blood loss. Investigators say O’Regan picked Wilson at random and was seeking revenge for what he considered to be unsatisfactory treatment at the hospital three weeks prior for a wrist injury. He told court physicians that he heard voices telling him to “be a warrior.” Hospital administrators say the new security measures include limitation of visitors in emergency departments and mandatory bag searches at Harrington’s Southbridge and Webster locations. Each patient in the emergency departments will be limited to two visitors. Added public safety officers will manage visitors as they arrive. Public safety officers will also now carry batons, pepper spray, and handcuffs. “There are very strict guidelines and circumstances under which these tools would be used, and that is being communicated during the training being taken by our Public Safety Department,” says Harrington vice president Harry Lemieux. Many hospital employees, including public safety staff, will participate in de-escalation training and defensive tactics. On-site training and drills will also be rolled out with department and building-specific protocols. Two walk-through metal detectors have also been placed at emergency room entrances and additional security cameras and panic buttons have been installed throughout the hospital.

Author: Gregory Schmidt, PSP, CHS-I

Gregory M. Schmidt, PSP, CHS-I of Eagle/ Trident Security is a board certified Physical Security Professional who has over thirty years of experience developing dynamic security programs, plans and policies for businesses in Indiana and Florida. His conversation-style personal safety seminars are highly regarded and always in demand. Mr. Schmidt is a member of ASIS International, the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.