Protecting Against Hospital Shootings
Hospital shootings are rare — but they do happen. Actually, they happen more than you would think, and for many different reasons. It is no secret that America has witnessed an influx of hostile shootings lately. Schools, public venues, and even hospitals are being targeted by violent offenders. Though hospitals are a place of healing and rest, they can, unfortunately, be targets for violent demonstrations. Because these places of peace are being used to carry out violence, it is important that you take an active role and protect your patients. Installing a panic alarm or emergency alarm system will help alert all staff in the building and authorities on duty of a disturbance in the hospital. At SecurAlert, we are here to ensure that if an incident occurs, you can contact the appropriate persons for help immediately.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the dangers that could be present in a hospital. We also will go into how to either prevent active shooters from getting into the hospital and how to call for help.
In a recent study posted by Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, 154 hospital-related shootings were recorded. Of those shootings, 91 of them were inside of the hospital. In all 40 states that these shootings happened, 235 patients were either killed or severely injured. Though it can be claimed that the patients could have been unstable upon release, and then acted violently due to mental instability, only four percent of the incidences recorded were perpetrated by a pre-diagnosed mentally ill person. Instead, most of the shootings were either from an angry patient (mostly men, 91 percent) or an angry employee. Also, of the shootings, 23 percent of them occurred when the patient grabbed the gun off of a security officer’s belt.
Most of the hospital shootings recorded were by a perpetrator with an apparent grudge. For the employee-related shootings, most were because they were terminated from their job or they had an argument with a doctor or one of the nurses on staff. With any job, there is a potential risk of violence. It was recently found that nearly two million American fall victim to workplace violence each year. This statistic is only escalated when you find out that hospitals are at a much higher risk of shootings due to medical bills, sick patients, angry relatives, and of course, upset employees.
Domestic Violence Dispute
It is an unfortunate fact that 27 percent of the hospital shootings were motivated by a personal grudge. Some of the shootings involved an employee’s angry significant other. In an interview with the President of Washington State Crime Prevention Association, James Sawyer, he stated that one of the reasons hospitals are at an increased risk of gun violence is due to the staff’s relationships. Most of the gun-related assaults are motivated by a domestic violence dispute between a man and a woman. Due to the fact that most hospital staff is in a gender ratio of 89 percent women and only 11 percent men, and one in four women are in an at-risk relationship, it stands to reason that hospitals would be at a greater risk for gun violence.
No matter the reason for the violent outburst, innocent people can be harmed or killed in a hospital shooting. At SecurAlert, we offer our customers duress alarms to install in their businesses and hospitals. This means that, if there is an active shooter in the building, all someone would have to do is push the panic button system and the authorities would immediately be contacted.