A nurse at Buffalo General Medical Center was charged with second-degree assault after knocking a patient unconscious while trying to administer medication, Buffalo Police reported.
Ryan D. Kinnally, 42, was charged after police said he struck the patient in the face, causing him loss of consciousness, pain, swelling and a bloodshot eye, according to witnesses who were in the patient’s room at the time of the incident.
"The call came in just after 6:15 a.m. Dec. 12,” said Michael J. DeGeorge, a Buffalo Police Department spokesman. “Kinnally was taken to ECMC for evaluation and subsequently arrested the next day.”
The hospital patient was described in police reports as “confused and resisting” the medical personnel trying to treat him. Police reports indicate the nurse pinned the patient’s arm down and removed his eyeglasses.
Accounts provided by witnesses and Kinnally conflict in describing the events that followed, according to police.
Kinnally said the patient swung at him, prompting him to punch the patient in the face, police reports indicate.
Witnesses said the patient was reaching for Kinnally’s glasses when the nurse struck him in the face.
Kinnally was not a staff employee of Buffalo General, said Michael Hughes, vice president in charge of public relations and communications at Kaleida Health. Kinnally was employed by American Traveler, a travel nursing agency based in Boca Raton, Fla., said Hughes.
Hughes declined to give further information about the incident in a statement released late Sunday afternoon.
"Because this is a personnel and patient privacy matter, we will not comment on the specifics of the incident," Hughes stated.
“We did report it immediately and have been working cooperatively with the Buffalo Police Department since. The safety of our patients and our employees is our number one priority."