There have been demands for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to violence against medical staff after a paramedic was attacked as he tried to save a man’s life.
The paramedic is still recovering from a wound to his leg inflicted as he tried to assist a patient.
The medic was first on the scene after the Ambulance Service received a call just before midnight on Wednesday to attend a man with breathing difficulties in south Belfast.
As the paramedic approached the young man he lashed out, cutting him with a piece of glass. The paramedic received hospital treatment for the injury to his thigh. He is said to be “very anxious about the whole episode”.
A spokesman for the Ambulance Service described the incident: “As the paramedic approached to assess and assist him, the patient thrashed out, at which point the paramedic tried to reassure him that he was only there to help. After a second attempt to assess the patient, which resulted in further resistance, the paramedic stepped back from the scene to allow the patient to calm down.
“It was only then he realised that he had been cut in the thigh by a piece of glass which, it was later discovered, the patient had been holding.”
The Ambulance Service condemned the incident, which it said highlights the dangers personnel face on a daily basis.
A spokesman appealed to the public to ensure the protection of staff, and called for the prosecution of anyone who attacks healthcare staff.