Three nurses were injured, one severely, in a knife attack in a Changsha hospital on Monday morning, China’s second largest state-owned news agency reported.
A male patient in his twenties slashed three nurses with a knife in the hospital’s hall, a spokesman for the Affiliated Hospital of Hunan Traditional Chinese Medicine in central Hunan province told China News Service.
Photos posted online showed three women dressed in white robes covered in blood lying on hospital beds.
The news agency’s website cited Wu Yuhua, deputy party chief of the hospital, as saying that one of the injured nurses was pregnant, while the other two had recently graduated from school. Wu said they were all in a stable condition after receiving emergency treatment.
The suspect had undergone surgery at the hospital four months ago, according to Wu. And he had been talking with his surgeon shortly before he attacked the three nurses, the report said quoting Wu.
Changsha police told the news agency that the suspect was still at large, but neither the hospital nor Changsha police could suggest what had motivated the attack.
Neither Changsha police bureau nor a hospital spokesman could be reached on Monday afternoon for comment.
China has seen an increase in attacks on hospital staff by patients in recent years. According to a study by the China Hospital Association conducted this year, over 60 per cent of the 316 hospitals in China that took part in the survey had reported that staff had been injured by patients. In 2013, the average number of cases of violence reported by hospitals surveyed was 27.3, up from 20.6 in 2008, the study noted.
Patient deaths, continued illness after prolonged treatment and a lack of satisfaction with medical treatment were the main factors that triggered hospital violence, contributing to over 80 per cent of attacks.