Assaults on staff at psychiatric hospital costing millions

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — Hundreds of employees at Washington state's largest psychiatric hospital have suffered concussions, fractures, cuts and bruises during assaults by patients that resulted in millions of dollars in medical costs and thousands of missed days of work.

Federal regulators have threatened to cut funding at the Western State Hospital four times this year over concerns about patient safety. But state records showed that injured employees missed 41,301 days of work between 2010 and 2014.

Most of the injuries were caused by patient assaults.

Workers' compensation insurance paid $6 million in wage and medical costs for claims to injured hospital workers between January 2013 and September 2015. Those missed days have contributed to worker shortages that are the root cause of the violence at the facility.