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MA Nurses Call for Action Following Harrington Hospital Stabbing

Friday, June 16, 2017


Nurses across the state of Massachusetts are showing support for the Harrington Hospital Nurse that was stabbed by her patient on Wednesday morning. 

The nurse, Elise Wilson, was cornered by Conor O’Regan, 24, of Southbridge and stabbed. She was airlifted by Life Star Medical to UMass Memorial Center in Worcester where she was listed in critical, but stable condition and was undergoing surgery. 

See the Statement from Wilson's Family Below

O’Regan was arrested shortly after the incident at his home. The district attorney’s office said O’Regan will be arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with intent to murder.

Nurses Calling for Action 

Nurses across the state are now pushing for the legislation, An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence to be passed. 

The bill reads, “nurses are assaulted on the job more than police officers and prison guards, with more than 70% of hospital emergency department nurses reporting being assaulted during their career. This bill would require health care employers to perform an annual safety risk assessment and, based on those findings, develop and implement programs to minimize the danger of workplace violence to employees and patients.

It would also provide time off for health care workers assaulted on the job to address legal issues and require semiannual reporting of assaults on health care employees.”

The bill is sponsored by State Senator James Timilty and State Rep. Denise Garlick. 

It is currently being considered by legislators. 

The Incident 

It is alleged that O’Regan brought the knife with him when he went to the emergency room seeking “general medical treatment,” slashed the nurse and then ran from the building. 

The hospital’s emergency room was closed and ambulances were diverted for a time, though the facility had reopened by late afternoon.

Read the Statement from Wilson's Family Below


From the family of the victim,

We would like to thank everyone yesterday for the tremendous outpouring of thoughts, prayers and well wishes. During this time we would like to ask that the members of the media give our family the space and the time that we need to heal together.  We have a long and difficult journey ahead and we have decided together that we want to make the journey in private, together with our family and close group of Friends.

While the events that took place on June 14 were tragic, we are very thankful that we were granted the chance to be able to travel down the long road of recovery. There is a very small group of people that we will never be able to repay or express enough thanks and gratitude to. The small, well trained, group of close-knit nurses and doctor who was able to lead the group in a calm and professional manner. Also a group of EMT’S that were able to jump in and help in a moment’s notice. 

Without these people being in the right place at the right time, the results would have been much worse. This team at Harrington Hospital, without question, saved their colleague and friend’s life. We do not want to in any way diminish the work done at UMASS Medical center.

The lead trauma surgeon yesterday summed it up best. He said that “We were here and able to put all the pieces back together,” however the “real heroes” were the group that worked on her at Harrington Hospital. We would also like to thank the entire team who worked on her at UMASS. They did an exceptional job and are all very good at what they do. They also did an exceptional job of providing us with as much, up-to-date, accurate information as they could. On a day when minutes felt like days a little shred of information goes a long way towards helping everyone keep things together.

Thank you all for the love and support during this difficult time.


The Family


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