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Red Deer doctor dies after attack at walk-in medical clinic


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4 years of undergrad 4 years of medical school 2 years of residency & Countless years-to-decades serving your community and it all ends when a patient takes a machete to you. Just another reminder that medicine cannot = our lives. Life is unpredictable and tomorrow isn't guaranteed. It can all come to a halt at any moment. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/red-deer-clinic-doctor-attacked-1.5681052

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This is tragic and horrifying.

What kind of safety measures can and do family clinics implement to make it safer to see patients? At least in hospitals there is security as well as other healthcare professionals close by and potentially violent/psychotic patients can be identified and have their belongings taken away.  

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1 hour ago, Drosophila said:

This is tragic and horrifying.

What kind of safety measures can and do family clinics implement to make it safer to see patients? At least in hospitals there is security as well as other healthcare professionals close by and potentially violent/psychotic patients can be identified and have their belongings taken away.  

First of all rest in peace to this man / woman.

 

Not sure what safety measures there are but one of the family doctors I was doing my longitudinal learning with told me that you should always try to be closer to an exit point than the patient is, so for example examine the patient in such a way that you're closer to the exit than they are. I found it odd at the time but I can see why now. 

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Terrible news.

2 hours ago, Drosophila said:

This is tragic and horrifying.

What kind of safety measures can and do family clinics implement to make it safer to see patients? At least in hospitals there is security as well as other healthcare professionals close by and potentially violent/psychotic patients can be identified and have their belongings taken away.  

Not much anyone can do against someone who's bent on murdering you, which this guy sounded like he was. If someone gets close to you with a big knife, you're basically done. Best you can do is position yourself so you can readily attempt escape from bad encounters.

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It's hard enough to assess violence risk in psychiatry when we spend a lot of time with people and often know them well - I can't imagine the difficulties of trying to accurately predict risk in a WIC environment when you don't have much time or much information.

The best you can do is never let anybody get between you and the door, look for red flags when you can, leave the room at the first sign of agitation, be aware of potential weapons in your environment, and have some sort of protocol for how to call for help - but without trained help available to call on, by the time anybody gets to you, as in a case like this it's likely already too late.  This doc could have done everything right for all we know - sometimes if someone's determined to get you, they just will no matter what you do.

Truly, most violence is not due to psychosis, and I would hesitate to interchange the two.  There are some messed up, violent people out there, and unfortunately once someone takes it into their head to do something like this, sometimes it's not predictable or preventable with the kinds of resources that we have in the community or even in hospitals.  At the hospital where I did call, we would not infrequently have to call SWAT to come in and disarm people because even our security wasn't going to tangle with it.  Not like every week or anything, but it was a known thing that happened a couple times a year.

Awful for this poor doc and their family.  And for everyone involved.  Collective trauma for the whole community.

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51 minutes ago, anonymouspls said:

Not sure what safety measures there are but one of the family doctors I was doing my longitudinal learning with told me that you should always try to be closer to an exit point than the patient is, so for example examine the patient in such a way that you're closer to the exit than they are. I found it odd at the time but I can see why now. 

Thinking back to some of the clinical rooms I've been in - definitely going to position to examination chair/bed/patient chair towards the back wall and the physician chair & desk/computer by the door.

Maybe having doors that open outwards if that's an option would help shave precious seconds off.

And having a discrete alarm system to my secretary/nurse from under the table like the banks do

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This is a devastatingly sad story in Ab. 
 

Thank you @ellorie for reminding everyone that psychosis does not equal violence. i came here just to say that and you said it beautifully (good luck on your exam!!).
 

let this be a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings. Assaults happen more often than you think and in the oddest places  

I think sometimes we are safer in psychiatry because we are always assessing risk whereas it is easier to let your guard down on MTU, in a family doctor office, etc  not to mention, those spaces are not built for flight and ease of egress...and you don’t have standby peace officers...and you usually only have one exit. 

Stay safe everyone!

 

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7 hours ago, LostLamb said:

let this be a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings. Assaults happen more often than you think and in the oddest places  

It's a Dwight Schrute moment but planning your escape route and defense plan if it should come to it (eg in the mall, at the movie theatre, in a crowded bar or restaurant, or at work) is a good mental exercise and life-saving.

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