The increasing use of cocaine has led to more assaults on healthcare staff in recent years, according to a leading consultant
Over 5,800 physical attacks on HSE workers were reported last year – along with 41 sexual assaults.
About half of the victims were nurses, according to freedom of information figures.
Professor Bill Tormey, a consultant in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, says illegal drugs is a big factor:
“There are an increasing number of assaults in the last 10 years in particular, simply because of the propensity of a lot of the population to dose themselves with cocaine and cocaine generates a huge change in behavior and all social classes have been noted in a&e and places like that to attack the staff.”