Lawmakers call for investigation into Hawaii State Hospital worker assaultsUPDATED 6:51 PM HST Nov 20, 2013Video Transcript
Violence at the state hospital-- making headlines tonight. Lawmakers are calling for a probe into some serious assault cases. KITV4's Catherine Cruz joins us with the story: The state workers say attacks by mentally ill patients have put staff out of work and other patients at risk for harm. They estimate at least three assaults take place EVERY DAY---- and believe many of the cases can be prevented. They are simply put-- cries for help. One by one workers at the state hospital described their stories. Attacked by patients, criticized or threatened by supervisors... trouble that often came without warning. Ryan Oyama 7:52 - 8: 00 - "I was sitting at my post and a patient was walking by and he just punched me in the head for no reason," Oyama says he 's been attacked 60 times over the ten years he has worked at the hospital Another worker who is barely five feet tall was hurt when she ran to the aid of a colleague who was being attacked by a pateint who was an MMA fighter. - Emelinda Yarte 25;16-25:22 - . "I got injured by him hitting me in the head, slaming on the wall and I sustained head concusions, cervial spine, bulging disk and TMJ, misalignment of my jaw and all this time I am still undergoing treatment and its hard I can't go back there any more," And this charge nurse was knocked unconscious by another patient. Workers say they feel unprotected against patients who are experienceing drug induced psychosis--whic h they say happens abot 80 percent of the time. - Joshua Akeo RN 16:09 -16 :21 - It's very difficult to begin treatment when he is violent. He is punching He is spitting. He is biting. It's very, very difficult." Another worker said was attacked just two days after a patient assaulted someone else. - Kalford Keanu Jr 18 : 50-18:56 "If we are getting assaulted, who is keeping the patients safe? The employees are calling for changes that would give them more protection, better staffing and more information about which patients have violent histories. The workers and their doctor also expressed some frustration with the workers compensation program. Coming up at six we will hear from the state and from the senators who hope to convene a special investigative hearing in the next two weeks.