Elderly patient stabbed in face during scissors attack at Sydney hospital

| 05.05,19. 04:03 PM |

Elderly patient stabbed in face during scissors attack at Sydney hospital

PHOTO: A woman remained under police guard at the hospital after the attack. (AAP: Paul Miller)

An elderly patient was stabbed in the face and three nurses wounded after a woman stole a pair of scissors and lashed out at staff inside a Sydney hospital.

NSW Police said a 29-year-old woman was being treated at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown about 8:30pm when she became "agitated" and began hitting the wall of her room.

Police said the woman grabbed scissors from a nurse's pocket and stabbed her twice in the back.

Two nurses who attempted to intervened sustained cuts to their arms.

The 29-year-old then went into a neighbouring room, where she allegedly stabbed a 75-year-old woman, a patient of the hospital, in the face.

Hospital security, doctors and nurses managed to restrain and sedate the woman before police arrived.

Ted Smith was a patient at the hospital and witnessed police rushing to the scene.

"Cops rushed in, hands on holsters, for a period ... a bit of panic but we just cleared out," he said.

"I saw four [police officers] but my brother who got here before me, he saw more rushing up."

It's understood the incident took place in a ward — not the emergency department — and none of the injuries were life threatening.

The woman is currently under police guard in hospital.

Calls for investigation into attack

It is the second attack at RPA in four months, after a woman allegedly stabbed another patient with a kitchen knife in January.

The general secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association, Brett Holmes, called for a "full investigation" into the violent incident.

"This is a terrible situation... no nurse begins their shift anticipating to suffer injuries on the job," he said.

A Sydney Local Health District spokeswoman said violence in the city's hospitals would not tolerated.

"One staff member, who received a puncture wound in the shoulder blade, was treated in the emergency department," she said.

"She stayed overnight as a precaution and will be discharged today.

"The other two staff members received minor injuries and are back at work today."

The elderly patient was treated for superficial wounds, and staff involved were offered counselling and support.

Health Services Union NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes said about 530 health workers in hospitals had been assaulted over the past two years.

"People should be able to come to work and look after people and not be a patient themselves," he said.

Security officers in public hospitals across the state have confiscated weapons that included machetes and hunting knives, Mr Hayes said.

He called for more security staff throughout hospitals, including in wards, to "intervene before an incident develops as opposed to … responding to them once they have occurred".


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