Safety in hospitals...

Safety in hospitals...

This is a discussion on Safety in hospitals... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been considering topics for a report on current security problems, going through all the usual considerations (banks, airports, schools , etc.) when it hit ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Wheel-man's Avatar
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    Safety in hospitals...

    I've been considering topics for a report on current security problems, going through all the usual considerations (banks, airports, schools, etc.) when it hit me, how secure are our hospitals? In the wake of the VT tragedy I realized that on the premises of almost any hospital there are:
    -addictive drugs(Ex. morphine)
    -expensive electronics
    -cars
    -stationary
    -people(faculty, visitors, and patients)
    -personal information/medical history(hard copies and electronic copies)
    -misc. valuables(personal jewelry, IDs, money, etc)
    -hazardous chemicals
    -radiation
    -bacteria/virus cultures
    -various other items of interest to foreign and domestic terrorists, and other BGs.

    I've already started doing research into the subject. Can anyone here give me more insight into this topic?
    If anti-gun legislators truly believed that guns kill people, the guns would be on the witness stand and the assailent would be holding the "Exhibit A" sign.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Well

    The hospital where my girlfriend works is secured by some unarmed elderly gentlemen. Typical for the area. Only one of the local hospitals I frequent allows the guards anything, and that one allows Mag Lites and pepper spray (MSI brand IIRC). Used to allow ASPs, but no more. While ER visitors are supposed to enter through the front of the ER past the desk, the back door is always propped open for the smokers, and the ambulace crews go in and out constantly. It can also be accessed from the main hospital area if you know the back way. The patient valuables are secured in a large safe, about like a hotel desk safe. Secure. There is no secure storage for the ER employees purses, but they are stored behind a locked door in ER registration, so at least access is limited. There are abundant IV supplies, syringes, and needles loose in the ER, but all the drugs, and especially the narcotics, are secured in a system that requires PIN access with a computer system. No security in the parking lot, but there is an elderly gentleman that drives around in a golf cart giving rides sometimes that could be a witness/ raise an alarm. I can't speak about patient info other than there are charts on paper for every pt in the ER. They're located close to the desk, but it's sometimes a busy place, lots of distractions. Information theft would be an easy inside job. No meaningful radiation sources at this hospital. Small nuclear medicine sources for cardiology, etc. I suspect you could get more by scraping night sights or smoke detectors or something. If by stationary you mean prescription pads, fuggetabouddit. Fake script for the "good stuff" won't fly. Much of the medical devices are unsecured, just have to sneak them to the door. Same with the monitors and stuff in the ambulances outside. We've had car keys, purses, and one ambulance stolen in the past. Don't know about hazardous chemicals other than the usual cleaning stuff that can mix in any industrial setting. Probably no worse than a hotel. Can't speak about virus samples, doubtful, but I don't know. Patient rooms on the floor contain purses and charts and sometimes radios, portable DVD players, and such. Mostly stuff from visitors, pts are discouraged from keeping valuables in rooms. Overall, a soft taget for criminals, especially armed criminals, terrorists, or sneaky thieves.

  3. #3
    Member Array bones's Avatar
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    My insight here in New Hampshire is that I carry in every one of the hospitals except the VA. Federal Law against carrying there.
    "There is no such thing as too much ammo. Unless you're swimming!"

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheel-man View Post
    how secure are our hospitals?
    Notwithstanding an obscene amount of drugs and equipment, hospitals are part of a town's infrastructure for being able to weather emergencies. Knock out a few local/regional hospitals and you put a serious dent into the ability of that area to survive any emergency that impacts hundreds or thousands (ie, the Tokyo subway attack with sarin).

    As to how well-defended such places are, I'm of the opinion that they're as weakly defended as any other private business that's open to the public. Sure, in larger hospitals there may be one or two guards assigned to active duty, but it would be trivially simple, for example, to drive up with a truck bomb and take it out. Imagine what could happen if the AC equipment could be charged with sarin gas or similar, sending that through the entire facility within 10mins. Consider the havoc that could be caused by a dozen simple grenade launchers lobbing rounds into a dozen local hospitals in a city, which could easily be done while the perpetrators simply melted back into the crowds.

    How protected? Not very. Call up your county sheriff and ask him/her. Wouldn't surprise me if hospitals gave them all ulcers, given how critical they are to responding to any large-scale incident and yet how poorly-defended they truly are.

    Here in Oregon, thankfully, there are precious few places off-limits to concealed carry of a firearm. As it should be.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; April 22nd, 2007 at 07:26 AM. Reason: clarification
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  5. #5
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    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    My wife works in a few different hospitals in my area, all of them have "security", but I've taken a self guided tour of all of them unchallenged. The largest hospital does have a pretty good security and its own police dept., but I am willing to bet it still isnt secure.
    I have had family or friends as patients in the hospital, and I have gone to see them at odd hours and never once was stopped by anyone.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Heheheh. Hospitals are "secure" in the sense that they are usually "neutral zones" between gangs. However, if a gang-member that's been shot is "high-priority", all bets are off.

    In large part, security comes from controlled access doorways, and the general attitude among nurses that they DO have the right to challenge someone who doesn't seem to fit. If you "fit in", though, you'd be surprised where you can go.......

    Also, I venture that (depending on the "ethos" of individual units) you will find more armed ED personnel than any other unit, company policy notwithstanding.

  7. #7
    Member Array freethead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Also, I venture that (depending on the "ethos" of individual units) you will find more armed ED personnel than any other unit, company policy notwithstanding.
    I'll second that. It seems that ER staff are just a little "different" from the usual run of hospital personnel.

    Also, hospitals are no better secured than schools are...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Completely vulnerable and often visited by deranged people. Look at the average emergency room late at night and odds are you will see at least a few people who you really wouldn't want over for dinner...

    Victims and perpetrators of street crimes are brought or walk in there (many of the victims also criminals who were a little slower than their enemy), domestic disputes gone violent show up and the mentally ill.

    I know this, when I brought my wife through the doors of the hospital to deliver our child I was carrying!

  9. #9
    Member Array Schwebel's Avatar
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    The hospital I work at has no armed security. The security we do have are like 75 year old 135lb guys. I feel very unsafe there and wish I was allowed to carry at work. I've thought about going to a different hospital, but everyone I work with is family to me. There have been several armed nuts come in. I have had someone pull a knife on me and one guy flash a .25/32 auto. Emergency departments are very dangerous places. Please do write a report on hospitals lack of security and common sense. I've tried writting a letter to our hospital president but that got nowhere.

  10. #10
    Member Array Mass-Diver's Avatar
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    I work at a large, inner city trauma hospital that gets the brunt of trauma/shootings in Boston. We have pretty decent security, lots of big guys, very visible arms with battons and mace, and in the event of a problem, Boston cops respond fast. You can't get on a floor without a pass or a badge and you have to be let into the ICU (you call on a phone and we come get you.).

    I feel pretty safe in terms of drunks and crazies, but obviously, like just about anywhere in a free society - someone that came in either guns blazing, or someone who threw on some scrubs and made a fake badge, could probably do some pretty serious damage.

  11. #11
    Member Array tapout1003's Avatar
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    I've spent a good amount of time in hospitals. If you walk around like you belong nobody will say a word. From what I've seen young docs are cocky and don't like to be bothered. I can't imagine why security isn't better. I personally have knocked to be let into secure areas and never given a second look.

  12. #12
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    i can only speak for hospitals in NYC and scranton, PA. new york hospitals are heavily guarded, but the parking lots are easy pickins for BGs. it's one of those little known facts that many doctors are permitted to carry because of this, and because crackheads/junkies see them as walking pharmacies. here in scranton we have 3 hospitals. two of them have minimal, unarmed security, 24/7. there might be one LEO on the premises at any given time. the third has at least 3 armed security guards on duty overnight. don't know the reason for the disparity, they're all within 10 minutes of each other, in decent neighborhoods.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahwarrior72 View Post
    the third has at least 3 armed security guards on duty overnight. don't know the reason for the disparity, they're all within 10 minutes of each other, in decent neighborhoods.
    Depends on who got shot, stabbed or snatched. Like most campuses, of any sort, it usually takes extreme violence to initaite meaningful change, and the incident will usually be seldom discussed.

  14. #14
    Member Array Wheel-man's Avatar
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    Judging from what I have read here and from other sources I believe it is safe to say(write?!) that hospital vulnerability just might become a serious problem in the near future.
    If anti-gun legislators truly believed that guns kill people, the guns would be on the witness stand and the assailent would be holding the "Exhibit A" sign.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheel-man View Post
    ... I believe it is safe to say(write?!) that hospital vulnerability just might become a serious problem in the near future.
    It's a serious problem right now. Though, few hospitals choose to do much about it.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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