A nurse at Lowell General Hospital’s Saints Campus suffered a brain bleed and a broken finger after a patient struck her with a fire extinguisher while her back was turned on Saturday, police said.
The patient, 65-year-old Jean Paul Durand, of Lowell, was arrested for the alleged attack on the nurse, who has since been released from the hospital, according to a Lowell Police Department press release.
According to documents available in Lowell District Court, surveillance footage of the incident captured Durand slowly walking up behind the nurse seated at the nursing station and then picking up a fire extinguisher that was on the floor nearby.
“Jean Paul raises the extinguisher over his shoulders and swings it down, striking (the victim) in the back of the head,” court documents state. “Jean Paul then raises the extinguisher up and down striking (the victim) again in the back of the head and her left hand.”
Witnessing what transpired, another nurse came to the victim’s aid by distracting Durand. Court documents state Durand proceeded to chase that nurse with the fire extinguisher before he was tackled to the ground by hospital security.
The injured nurse was then taken to the Saints Campus Emergency Department. There the victim told Lowell Police officers that she remembers sitting at the nurses station adding notes to a computer when “all of a sudden she felt sharp pain to the back of her head but had no idea what happened,” court documents state.
She was told by doctors she suffered a brain bleed and a broken left index finger from the blows she endured, according to court documents. The nurse was taken to Lowell General Hospital’s Main Campus for further treatment before she was released.
Police charged Durand with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury and assault with a dangerous weapon.
He was arraigned in Lowell District Court on Monday, where he is being held pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled Friday.
LGH Manager of Public and Media Relations Will Courtney issued a statement in response to the incident, stating “the safety of our staff and patients is our highest priority.”
“Any harm that comes to our staff as they work to care for our patients is unacceptable,” Courtney said. “We are conducting a full review into the incident that took place on Saturday evening to ensure we are doing all we can to protect our dedicated staff. The staff member injured in this incident has been discharged and is recovering at home.”