The police said they arrested a patient for trying to jab a knife against a physician who examined him at an emergency room at the Namwon Medical Center in North Jeolla Province.
The incidence occurred at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. A man in his 50s, who had an injury around his eye, visited the ER at NMC. A specialist in the emergency medicine department examined the man and told him to get a CT scan because he might have injured his head. The doctor also told him to go to the treatment room to get his wound sutured.
|A closed-circuit television footage shows a man in his 50s in a red jumper trying to jab a knife at an emergency medicine specialist at the emergency room of Namwon Medical Center in Namwon, North Jeolla Province, on Wednesday.|
However, the patient reportedly kept swearing at the medical staffs during the medical exam. After the CT scanning, the medical staffs guided the man to the treatment room, but the patient went rambling, saying he had dirt on his pants.
When the doctor was seeing him, the patient put on his jacket, took out a knife from a pocket, and slashed at the doctor. Fortunately, the doctor who was seated on a chair quickly backed off and avoided an injury.
The medical staffs and hospital employees overpowered the man and reported him to the police who took him to the police station later.
“The doctor who saw the patient was able to avoid the attack because he was seated facing the patient. Otherwise, he could have been seriously injured,” an employee working at NMC’s ER said. “I often witness physicians get punched by patients but this case was serious, involving a knife. Thinking about it gives me the creeps.”
When the doctor examined the patient, he asked him if he drank alcohol and the patient said no, the employee added. “As the police booked him, we will watch how the investigation goes and discuss how to respond,” he said.
On Oct. 27, the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee decided to revise the Emergency Medical Service Act to impose additional punishment on assaults in ER.
The revision bill seeks to give more than one year in prison or a fine of 10 million won ($8,939)-100 million won to a person who injures a staff at ER. For a serious injury, the perpetrator could face over three years in prison. For death, the punishment could be as grave as life imprisonment or over five years in prison.
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