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Nurse recovering after being attacked by patient with fire extinguisher at Lowell General Hospital

LOWELL, Mass. — A nurse at Lowell General Hospital was injured in a violent attack Saturday by a patient wielding a fire extinguisher.

Jean Paul Durand, a 65-year-old homeless man, was arrested Saturday night at the hospital’s Saints campus for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, according to a police arrest log. The nurse was discharged following the attack and is recovering at home, the hospital said in a statement emailed to Boston 25 News.

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“At Lowell General Hospital, the safety of our staff and patients is our highest priority,” the statement said. “Any harm that comes to our staff as they work to care for our patients is unacceptable. We are conducting a full review into the incident that took place on Saturday evening to ensure we are doing all we can to protect our dedicated staff.”

Such violence is not unusual among emergency room staff. Health care workers often treat belligerent and violent patients. Many nurses and law enforcement officers believe the opioid epidemic has escalated the problem over the last few years.

A Lowell General Hospital spokesman referred Boston 25 News to Lowell Police for further details. Police expect to release information about the crime Tuesday.

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