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Nurse injured in knife attack in hospital

By Yang Yijun (China Daily)

08:38, May 14, 2012

A woman who suspected that an operation had affected her health assaulted a nurse with a knife on Saturday at a hospital in Nanjing, in East China's Jiangsu province, adding to the long list of attacks on medical workers.

The woman tried to stab Nanjing Zhongda Hospital nurse Chen Ling in the chest, but Chen managed to grab ahold of the 15-cm knife. She suffered several cuts to her left hand and a scratch on her abdomen, Nanjing's Modern Express reported.

Around 9 am, the woman who, according to reports, was older than 50, entered the emergency room and said she was looking for a doctor in the mental health department. Chen recognized her as someone she had seen before looking for the same doctor. Chen offered to take her to the outpatient service. But the woman suddenly took a knife from her bag and attacked Chen.

Chen said she had no idea why the woman tried to stab her because she did not know the woman, nor had the woman been treated in the emergency room.

Several doctors were able to subdue the woman and took her Zhongyangmen Police Station.

The police station and the public security bureau in the Gulou district, which oversees the station, have declined to be interviewed.

"The hospital explained that the woman had had a caesarean at this hospital 16 years ago. The woman claimed that the operation had affected her sex life, but the hospital's medical appraisal said the operation had no side effects on her," said Liu Jing, a Modern Express reporter who interviewed representatives of the hospital.

The hospital declined to confirm that information with China Daily.

"We are waiting for the results of the police investigation. Meanwhile, we have tightened the security in our hospital," said a representative of the hospital's publicity department named Cheng.

China is seeing a growing number of violent patient-doctor disputes.

On April 13, a patient named Lu Fuke stabbed two doctors in the neck in two Beijing hospitals. That case remains under investigation.

On March 23, a 17-year-old patient, Li Mengnan, stabbed medical staff in a hospital in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, leaving one intern dead and three other staff members injured. He had reportedly done so because he thought he did not receive immediate care.

"Some employees in the hospital dare not wear white coats when they step out of their offices, because they're afraid of being beaten by patients' relatives if they were mistaken for doctors," a doctor in a leading Shanghai hospital said on condition of anonymity.

On April 30, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Security issued a regulation on maintaining order in medical institutions.

It said that people who insult, threaten or intentionally harm medical staff will be punished under the law. If the case is serious enough to constitute a crime, criminal charges would be filed.

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