Emergency Department Violence

Main Points

  • Protecting emergency patients and staff from violent acts is fundamental to ensuring quality patient care.
  • The majority (nearly 60 percent) of all assaults (nonfatal) and violent acts in the workplace occur in the health care and social assistance industries (2007).
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of all assaults (non-fatal) and violence that result in days away from work are committed against registered nurses.
  • Few official data are kept on the number of verbal and physical threats to health care workers and other employees — hospitals often are reluctant to commit resources to ill-defined problems.
  • ACEP encourages all states to enact legislation that establishes maximum categories for offenses and criminal penalties against individuals who commit violence against health care workers.

Emergency Department Violence Fact Sheet

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