Hospital attacker put bin liner over woman's head to suffocate her
A female attacker tried to suffocate another woman with a bin liner in a hospital emergency department.
The victim, aged in her 60s, had a plastic bag put over her head during the assault as she waited in Naas General Hospital, Co Kildare in the early hours of last Saturday morning.
Gardai have launched an investigation into the unprovoked attack.
During the incident a plastic bin liner was held over the woman's head in an attempt to suffocate her, according to one eye witness.
Bystanders intervened and managed to restrain the female attacker, a witness told the Herald.
"A bin liner was placed over this woman's head in an attempt to suffocate her and the attacker could have succeeded if people in the room hadn't intervened," the witness said.
"A man in the emergency department had to wrestle the person off the lady.
"People were threatened by this woman, it was a scary incident to witness in the hospital."
Local gardai were notified and were said to be on the scene within minutes.
A spokesman for the HSE confirmed that the matter is under investigation by the hospital as well as gardai.
"We can confirm that an incident occurred at Naas General Hospital on Saturday morning.
"The incident is being dealt with by the hospital and an investigation is under way by An Garda Siochana.
"We will not be commenting further at this time," a spokesman for the HSE said.
The HSE did not comment on what security measures were in place in the department at the time of the incident.
Meanwhile, figures provided by the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO) show there were eight patients waiting on trolleys in the Naas hospital's Emergency Department over the weekend.
The INMO's trolley-watch figures for Friday show that eight people were waiting on trolleys while another three were in wards.
This figure is a major reduction from 22 people on April 19 last. On that day, only the Mater Hospital had more recorded patients waiting on trolleys that day in the Eastern Region with 26.