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December 3, 2014 at 10:33 AM

3 nurses assaulted at state psychiatric hospital

The Associated Press

TACOMA — Officials say three nurses at Western State Hospital in Lakewood were assaulted last week by two patients.

The Nov. 25 incident has renewed concerns about staffing cuts and safety precautions at the state hospital, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported Tuesday.

Lakewood Police spokesman Chris Lawler said one patient attacked a staff member and two other staffers who tried to defuse the situation. He said another patient then joined the fray.

All the staff members had minor injuries.

Earlier this year, Western State established a 14-member psychiatric emergency response team to address staff safety and assaults by patients.

A prepared statement issued by the state Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees the hospital, says the agency has funding for initiatives to increase safety for staff at state psychiatric hospitals.

Comments | More in Health, The Blotter | Topics: assault, Western State Hospital

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