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Australian Doctors and Nurses to Start Wearing Stab-proof Vest - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Australian Doctors and Nurses to Start Wearing Stab-proof Vest by katty : July 11, 2017, 07:01:10 AM
Nurses and doctors at Perth’s most dangerous hospitals could soon wear stab-proof vests as new figures show staff members are reporting about 50 violent incidents each day.

WA Health figuresshow there were 19,005 “code black” threat alarms — which include violent altercations and armed intruders — at hospitals in Perth last year.

The figure is actually closer to 20,000 — almost 400 a week — because North Metropolitan Health Service had only 10 months of data because of a new reporting method.

Australian Medical Association WA president Dr Omar Khorshid warned the real figure was even worse because staff members did not document all incidents as they had come to accept a degree of violence as part of their jobs.

In confirming the WA Government’s commitment to provide anti-stab vests for hospital security staff, Health Minister Roger Cook this week revealed he was considering giving the equipment to emergency department medicos.

“If ... we determine a real need for these vests to also be provided to ED staff then we will look at that,” Mr Cook said.

Health Services Union WA assistant secretary Chris Panizza said he expected more than 100 security officers would be given stab vests at the most high-risk sites, including regional hospitals.

Dr Khorshid said he did not believe there was enough evidence of stabbing risks to support the need for ED nurses and doctors also to wear the vests, which could pose infection control problems.

“If the Government is going to spend money on security ... it should be targeted at things that are more effective for our environment,” he said.

Australian Nurses Federation State secretary Mark Olsen renewed his union’s call for the introduction of “drug tanks”. Under the proposal, intoxicated, violent revellers would be isolated in a separate medical facility to sober up.

The ANF also wants police patrols in emergency departments and more security staff.

In 2016, there were 3561 code blacks at Royal Perth Hospital and 3043 at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital’s 10-month figure of 2849 was more than recorded for the whole of 2015.

Princess Margaret Hospital had 601 code blacks over 10 months last year, compared with 168 in 2015. King Edward Memorial Hospital had 231 incidents over the 10 months, compared with 11 in 2015.

WA Health said the increases were caused by changes to the reporting system.

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