'He had her by the hair and on the floor' - Woman describes hospital stay at Beaumont

A woman who was in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital says she witnessed a nurse being attacked by a pati...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.30 22 Jul 2020

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'He had her by the hair and on...

'He had her by the hair and on the floor' - Woman describes hospital stay at Beaumont

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.30 22 Jul 2020

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A woman who was in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital says she witnessed a nurse being attacked by a patient.

Anne-Marie told Lunchtime Live she got a stomach bug on June 22nd, and her GP told her she was dehydrated.

He then suggested she go to hospital for a drip.


"One of the lovely nurses that was looking after me, one of the guys - I don't know if he'd taken an overdose or what he'd done - but he was admitted on to the ward.

"Then the following night he was crying for more painkillers but the poor nurse had reached her limit to give him painkillers.

"And within 30 seconds he had her by the hair and on the floor.

"Two of the male patients had to prise him off and the two other nurses came running.

"I was talking to them and I said 'this is awful, this is atrocious' - they say it happens all the time.

"Yes security is in the hospital, but security comes after that event.

"Why should that event be allowed happen in the first place?".

She suggested people who may have been affected by alcohol or drugs could be kept "in a separate area" in the hospital.

"They're in A&E, they have no control over their bodily functions, they're not aware of what they're actually doing because of their disease.

"Surely they deserve some dignity as well as the mainstream patients, or whatever you want to call them.

She also described what happened when she first went into general A&E at the hospital.

"The triage nurse gave me an injection to stop the vomiting and then it was basically 'go down the back there somewhere and find a chair or something'.

"The place was chockers.

"I'm an able being - so thankfully I was able to go down the back - the seats were all gone.

"You have to remember: we're all told with COVID-19 we must social distance, we must wash our hands and we must wear a mask.

"I ended up sitting on the floor, but I had to be close to the toilet for obvious reasons.

"That was about 12 o'clock, I was there - 5 o'clock came, 7 o'clock came.

"There was a couple of people that had been brought in via ambulance, or via something else, and they were inebriated - or they were out of their heads on drugs."

"But looking at them, the amount of time and energy and distraction that these people caused the frontline staff that were there was absolutely terrible".

"There were other elderly patients there who didn't have anyone with them - and I was thinking that's somebody's mom, that's somebody's dad.

"They took an x-ray of me, they gave me tablets and I was sent home at 11 o'clock that night."

But she said things got worse when she went home - so she went back to the A&E on the following Monday.

"I got in there at 12 and once 8/9 o'clock hit, the ambulance guys are coming in and they're dropping off patients that are out cold due to alcohol possibly.

"I saw a man that was there with a suspected brain hemorrhage who had to get off a trolley to give it to a person who was inebriated while they slept it off.

"The person that was inebriated started to come to and stated shouting and roaring all over the place.

"He's slipping off the trolley and the next thing his internal things give way - and there's a young male nurse trying to keep him safe on this trolley.

"And this whole time the place is packed with patients."

She said a woman on a trolley beside her, who was aged in her 80s, "was crying, saying please protect me from the bad man".

"The bad man was another guy who was drunk and was out of it, again causing disruption".

"The problem is the ambulance men drop them off on the trolley from the ambulance and the ambulance men need that trolley back - so they're unconscious and they need to be put on another trolley which some other patient is using but they have to be accommodated.

"Yes please do accommodate them - but why add so much exposure to all of this for very sick people, and they are sick people in A&E".

She said on the Monday, she counted seven people who were there due to issues relating to drink or drugs.

"Not one of those seven people had a mask on", she said.

"Some fella decided to have a picnic in the middle of A&E by going out to the vending machine.

"His top was covered from where he'd been bleeding, and he'd just thrown everything on the floor.

"No mask, no nothing".

"The staff in the A&E department... they're overwhelmed, they really, really are".

She said she got admitted on the Tuesday morning and was in hospital for 10 days with a chronic stomach infection.

"All the nurses and all the carers and the lady that even serves you a cup of tea, they couldn't have been nicer", she added.

Main image: A&E at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin in 2015. Picture: Leon Farrell/

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