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Patient's Nurse Attack Leads To Legislation At Capitol

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The Ramsey County Attorney's office says no charges will be filed against police who struggled with a hospital patient who died after he attacked nurses in November.

The patient swung a metal bar at nurses at St. John's Hospital in Maplewood, an attack that is sparking nurse-protection legislation at the State Capitol.

Nurses at the Capitol say attacks on them are common.

"I have been spit at, urinated on, kicked, scratched, punched in the face and chest," Mary McGibbon of Methodist Hospital said. "I have suffered multiple bruises, sprained wrists and several shoulder injuries."

The Minnesota Nurses Association is asking for tougher penalties for attacks on health care workers, which they say are on the rise.

Other ideas include a database to track violent incidents as they occur and more training for health care staffers in case of emergency.

"We have worked hard to demonstrate that we take the issue of violence seriously, and we are acting proactively," Laura Reed of the University of Minnesota Medical Center said. "We are not trying to wait for a crisis."

Minnesota health care workers filed 69 workers compensation claims last year for job related injuries. That's the most ever in one year.

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