BET À DAY
A nurse in the psychiatry unit of the Cité-de-la-Santé hospital in Laval had a fingertip torn off by a patient who bit her, in the night from Wednesday to Thursday.
“On the night of the 19th, around 12:50 a.m., there was a code white with a patient known for extreme violence and this patient bit a nurse in the right little finger, just below the nail and tore off the nurse's finger and then spat it out,” reports Déreck Cyr, interim president of the Union of Nurses, Respiratory Therapists and Auxiliary Nurses of Laval – SIIIAL (CSQ).
The patient, who tested positive for COVID-19, was being transferred to an isolation ward when she “started spitting everywhere”, according to Mr. Cyr.
Workers would then have tried to put a procedure mask on her mouth and it is at this moment that the patient would have taken the opportunity to bite the nurse “until her finger tears off”.
Faced with this event, the union denounces the increase in violence against workers and the inaction of the Cité-de-la-Santé de Laval to protect its psychiatric workers.
“We have it's hard to keep nurses in this environment because since 2018, they've been promising us renovations and changes that won't happen before March 2023, according to the employer,” denounces Déreck Cyr.
The patient involved in the event had already committed an assault earlier in the week.
“This patient assaulted another worker on January 16, breaking a hairbrush and trying to open her jugular, first of all, to herself, and then tried to stab a intervention officer on the back with this same broken brush”, says the acting president.
The latter is of the opinion that the patient should have been transferred to the Pinel Institute.
“It is difficult to understand why, given that there was an event on January 16, that the employer did not put measures in place, did not transfer this patient to Pinel”, he denounces.
Work was to have been undertaken in April 2020, according to Mr. Cyr, to secure the psychiatry unit of the Laval establishment, but the employer, after a reassessment, would now speak of a start of work in March 2023.  ;
“Which, for us, is absurd because the employer must protect and give adequate physical places to the workers and there has been an exodus of workers who have left because of the increase more and more extreme violence”, criticizes the man.
The president of the union is now calling on the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, to ask him for investments in mental health.
“We know that for the CHSLDs, there has been underfunding, but the second poor child in the network is psychiatry. There are more and more assaults, even the organizations say that since COVID there are 30% more code whites and assaults on health care workers. So what are they going to put in place to protect our members in Laval”, he asks.