Eight staff members at the hospital in Saint-Jérôme were injured Monday night after two men rushed into the emergency room. The regional health board in the Laurentians says it all started when the suspects came in to visit a patient.
Earlier that night, a man had walked into the emergency room on his own with stab wounds. He was immediately seen and treated by staff and was then sent to rest in a special area for those suffering from shock, said Sylvain Pomerleau, the assistant director of nursing for critical and specialized care at the CISSS des Laurentides.
Pomerleau said two men barged into the specialized area soon after. They were asked to leave and were being escorted out by two security guards when one of the men assaulted a guard.
The other guard tried to help his colleague and then the other suspect became violent, he said. At that point, a code white, signalling that there is a violent or out-of-control person on site, was issued to staff.
He said nurses and attendants who are trained for these types of situations came to their aid and were also injured in the brawl.
Pomerleau said all eight staff members were seen by a doctor after the incident. Four have been given a few days off work. He says there were no major injuries.
"The system works well," assured Pomerleau. He says there are at least two security guards on duty at all times and the majority of employees are trained to intervene in code white situations.
"We're not worried about the safety of the emergency room, for employees, visitors and the clientele," he said. "But of course we use events like this to make improvements and we'll see what we can do to make sure it doesn't happen again."
He says the health board will go over the incident in the coming days and address any issues in their preparation protocols to ensure this type of situation is better controlled.