A patient in the Roper St. Francis emergency room in South Carolina stole an electric stun gun from a hospital security officer and fired it over the weekend.
According to police, the gun hit a hospital worker in the foot on Saturday night, reports ABC News 4.
The patient, Kyle Cahill, is being charged with third-degree assault and battery after he fought with several Roper St. Francis medical and security staff.
Cahill, 29, needed to be restrained after trying to fight someone.
Witnesses told police that Cahill was violently struggling and spitting on hospital workers and was then able to take a security officer’s electric stun gun from his holster.
One of the weapon’s prongs lodged into a female hospital worker’s foot, and police said Cahill went on to bite another female worker’s arm.
Before his arrest, he was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.
Jail records show Cahill has been arrested 11 times in Charleston County, dating back to August 2017.
Of those arrests, four were for assault and three were for disorderly conduct.
Hospital Vice President Anthony Jackson said changes have been made to make the hospital more secure.
He also called on South Carolina lawmakers to pass legislation that would result in “enhanced penalties for violence against healthcare workers,” in a statement shared by WCSC.
“Anyone who assaults a police officer, teacher or lawmaker faces harsher consequences. Healthcare workers deserve the same kind of protection,” he said.
The IAHSS released guidance in 2018 to help hospitals handle patient and visitor violence.
Here are the five steps to prepare for patient violence in hospitals:
- Develop an internal plan for hospital officials to identify and manage violent, threatening or other inappropriate behavior.
- Establish criteria for terminating patient care due to violent or inappropriate behavior in accordance with any applicable patient rights and abandonment laws.
- Change care plans for violent or disruptive patients when terminating care isn’t an option.
- Develop processes to restrict visitor/patient access to certain or all patients, departments or the entire healthcare facility.
- Create training programs and attendance expectations with all hospital employees to address the prevention, recognition, avoidance, diffusion, response and reporting of threats, acts of aggression and other behaviors of concern.
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