LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - Advocates are calling for increased safety measures after a man allegedly attacked a Lowell nurse with a fire extinguisher over the weekend.

Officers responding to Lowell General Hospital were told the nurse was sitting at her station when a patient used a fire extinguisher to hit her twice in the back of the head, and chased a second nurse before security tackled him, police said. Jean Paul Durand, 65, of Lowell, was arraigned in Lowell District Court on two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The nurse suffered a brain bleed and is at home recovering, officials said. Katie Murphy, the head of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said she was “absolutely horrified but not terribly surprised” by the attack, and said it was a wake-up call for hospitals to create stronger safety measures.

“Any first responders are at risk but nurses, who are on the front lines, at the bedside, in rooms alone with patients, are fare more likely to be assaulted by patients,” Murphy said.

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