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February 2, 2011

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Surgeon stabbed in hospital fight

A SURGEON suffered a serious stab wound to the chest when relatives of a man who died in hospital attacked medical staff.

The relatives gathered outside Xinhua Hospital in Shanghai's Yangpu District on Monday morning to mourn Liu Yonghua, a patient who had been transferred there in a critical condition after heart surgery in Anhui Province. Liu died last Friday.

The relatives had set up banners blaming the hospital for Liu's death before. About 10:30am on Monday, around 20 of them rushed into the cardiothoracic surgery department on the eighth floor and broke into the director's office.

Finding it empty, they ran into the vice director's office next door.

One man stabbed Dr Ding Fangbao, a surgeon and the department's vice director, in the chest and pulled him toward a window, trying to push him out.

Male medical staff ran to his aid and nine of them were injured. Six doctors had to be admitted to hospital, including Ding, who had a 4-centimeter-deep wound in his chest just 1.5 centimeters from his heart.

The other five suffered broken noses and eye injuries, while four of their colleagues escaped with minor injuries.

The doctors admitted to hospital are all in stable condition. Ding is being treated in the intensive care unit, hospital officials said yesterday. None of them had been involved in Liu's treatment.

One of the attackers, surnamed Liu, has been detained by the police for intentional injury and another five were either detained or received warnings about their conduct, Yangpu District police said.

"It is such a serious case, about hurting innocent medical staff," said health bureau official Song Guofan. "Medical staff's safety and dignity must be protected. Medical disputes should be solved through administrative and legal procedures and not through violence."

All the suspects were caught at the scene on Monday and a police investigation is ongoing.

Liu Yonghua had been diagnosed with heart disease at his home hospital and underwent surgery there carried out by doctors from the hospital and Xinhua, which had offered help after a request from the Anhui doctors. He was transferred to Xinhua after his condition deteriorated.


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