Patient attack reported at Atascadero State Hospital

A nursing employee at Atascadero State Hospital received abrasions to the face and a scratch on the hand after being attacked by a patient, according to a preliminary report The Tribune received this week.

The incident happened Wednesday, and the report was released the next day at The Tribune’s request. It is part of attack information that will be published regularly. ASH, licensed for 1,275 patients, is one of five state hospitals that treat mentally ill violent offenders.

Wednesday’s incident reportedly occurred around 2:30 p.m. after a nursing employee was injured in a unit when a staff member was trying to calm a patient, according to the report.

“Nursing employee” could mean a psychiatric technician or a registered nurse. Staff names are not released and job titles remain general in attack reports to protect the identity of employees, officials said.

The details of the attack are preliminary and represent initial information that hospital management still needs to investigate.

No other information on the incident was available.

This week’s roundup of attacks was less than the week prior, where seven nursing employees reported assaults by patients with various degrees of injury from Sept. 6 to Sept. 12.

Violent acts by patients toward staff and other patients occur regularly. Last year, there were 409 aggressive incidents against staff members. Of them, 151 resulted in injury, according to the state.