When a nurse dies after a patient attack, ZDoggMD says it's time for action

Following the death of a Louisiana nurse who was attacked by a patient earlier this month, the doctor known as ZDoggMD has issued a call to action to end the violence against healthcare workers.

In a video on his website, the popular doctor—whose real name is Zubin Damania, M.D., although he is better known as the social media star ZDoggMD—reacted to the news that a nurse at Baton Rouge General was attacked by a behavioral health patient. That nurse, 56-year-old Lynne Truxillo, finished her shift and later was treated and released from the emergency room. But she died days later from a massive pulmonary embolism after she returned to the hospital complaining of trouble breathing.

Damania couldn’t remain silent. “Here's the call to action. Share this video. Keep making noise,” he said on the video. He ended a post about the video with the hashtag #silentnomore.

Since the video was posted, police Tuesday arrested and booked the 54-year-old patient who attacked Truxillo on one count of manslaughter, according to WAFB9. Police began a homicide investigation after a coroner ruled there was a direct connection between the blood clots that killed Truxillo and the attack.

The warrant for the patient’s arrest outlined details of the attack. It said Truxillo went to the aid of another nurse the patient had pinned into a corner. The patient then began to attack Truxillo and reportedly pushed her head down into a desk and injured her leg.

As Damania was bringing attention to the issue, the violence only continued. Six hospital employees at the Tau Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were attacked in two separate incidents, according to a WAFV report.

The television station said two men were arrested in the attacks. A 32-year-old man assaulted two mental health technicians on April 22 and was charged with second-degree battery and battery of emergency room personnel.

Two hours later, police said a 40-year-old patient became irate while resisting treatment from hospital personnel and began fighting four employees, resulting in minor injuries. That patient was charged with four counts of battery of emergency personnel and a charge of criminal damage to property after he allegedly knocked several holes in the wall during the fight.

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Damania said there must be accountability. “I am getting so, so, so tired, so tired of reading story after story, after story, after story of healthcare workers being attacked, being abused verbally, physically, and emotionally by our system and the patients that we are taking oaths to protect,” Damania said in the video.

He urged healthcare workers to “never let people forget, to keep making noise, to keep advocating for safer units for better mental health care, for better support for our frontline clinicians, for better security in hospitals and support for our security staff.”

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Truxillo’s death comes as healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, push for state and federal legislation to protect healthcare workers on the job.

A new workplace violence bill was introduced in February. Sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Connecticut, the bill (H.R. 1309) would require healthcare and social service employers to implement workplace violence prevention plans that would be enforceable by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.