National Survey Finds That Violence In Emergency Rooms Is Increasing

Oct 2, 2018

Violence in emergency rooms across the United States is increasing, and it's harming not only people who are injured, but also the quality of care.

That's according to a new survey of more than 3,500 ER doctors from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). The survey included 26 Maine doctors.

The ACEP report finds that nationally, nearly half of emergency physicians report having been physically assaulted while at work, with 60 percent saying those assaults occurred in the past year. The surveyed doctors also reported that 97 percent of assaults had been by patients, sometimes joined by a patient family member or friend, or another visitor.

For example, one doctor told surveyors about being put in a headlock by a patient and his cousin.

Almost half of those who responded say that hospitals can do more by adding security guards, cameras and taking other safety measures.

Security procedures vary among Maine hospitals. The national survey was commissioned by ACEP and conducted by Marketing General Incorporated.