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Mental Health Nurse Tells Of Trauma After Being Bitten By Patient

It's a Thursday night in a psychiatric unit in Melbourne and Jessica Anderson is being bitten by one of her patients. The woman has latched onto her forearm with her top and bottom teeth and is pulling as hard as she can.

Jessica has left her job as a mental health nurse after developing PTSD after a series of attacks against her by patients. 

But Jessica's is focusing on her colleagues. One of her workmates is sprawled on the floor after being thrown across the room. The other is doubled over in pain after being kicked in the groin. After twelve years as a nurse, Jessica Anderson will probably never work in the sector again. 

Speaking to Australian ’The Age’ newspaper, she describes her ordeal and commented:

"I didn't realize what had happened until the end of my shift when I thought 'Jeez my arm is a bit painful'. I rolled back my sleeve of my jumper to have a look and a bit of skin fell off my arm."

Jessica’s bite injury required stitches and she is now left with a scar on her arm. I truly believe Jess and her colleagues would have done everything in their power to prevent injuries of this type, but bite resistant clothing is the last form of defence if everything else fails. 

Over her twelve-year career as a mental health nurse, Jess says she has been injured, abused and threatened at work too many times to count. She has been punched in the face, spat on and people have told her that they will kill her. She has also been bitten on four separate occasions, and never wore bite resistant arm guards. 

Her message is that the personal safety of mental health care workers must be improved... and I strongly believe BitePRO® Bite Resistant Clothing is a very effective way to do so.

Reducing the risk of injuries caused by biting, scratching and pinching

Our specialised protective garments prevent teeth from breaking the skin, effectively reducing the risks of serious injury and infection associated with human bites.

BitePRO® is a range of bite resistant clothing and arm guards designed to protect care professionals working with vulnerable children and adults who present challenging behaviour.  

We have already offered hundreds of professionals in mental health care, special education, and associated services peace of mind to continue providing the best possible support to children and adults in their care. 

"In my field of helping people with disabilities, we often face daily challenges but with the peace of mind that our staff are well protected, we are able to attend to the needs of the clients without having to worry about becoming injured. So far through daily use of Bite Resistant Clothing, my staff have not been injured on their arms while wearing the sleeve guards and are completely satisfied with the high-quality products". Sterling Barbosa, Valley Achievement Center, California, USA

The risk of being bitten by a human is a reality for professionals working in mental health care facilities and psychiatric hospitals. Bite related injuries can of course become infected and mental health care professionals could subsequently be contaminated with pathogens. Transmissions of potentially life-threatening viruses, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV are also a part of reality.

David Watts, Director of Risk and Safety of Priory Group, one of the UK’s leading and most respected provider of mental health care clinics stated:

“Whilst we are in the fortunate position to only need to use bite resistant clothing and arm guards in rare circumstances, when it has been used, we have received very favourable feedback. I am absolutely certain that the use of this type of protective clothing has helped us to prevent serious incidents and serious injury.” 

Late last year we conducted a survey, which saw one hundred and seventy individuals from nine countries completing the survey, primarily coming from sectors, such as mental health care, nursing and special educational needs.  Their feedback and experiences are really worth our attention: click here

Robert Kaiser, CEO
PPSS Group | BitePRO®