PA 16-90—sSB 244
AN ACT CONCERNING THE REPORTING OF INJURIES RESULTING FROM THE DISCHARGE OF A FIREARM AND STAB WOUNDS
SUMMARY: This act requires hospitals, outpatient surgical facilities, and outpatient clinics to report to the police when they treat patients for stab wounds that are serious physical injuries likely caused by a knife or other sharp or pointed instrument (“stab wounds”). Existing law already requires these health care facilities to report on injuries caused by a firearm discharge (“gunshot wounds”). The act also (1) adds to the list of required information for these reports and (2) sets requirements for how these facilities' employees must handle evidence related to such injuries.
Finally, under certain circumstances, the act grants these facilities and their employees immunity from civil or criminal liability or professional discipline concerning this reporting and related matters.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016
REPORTING STAB WOUNDS OR GUNSHOT WOUNDS
As under existing law regarding gunshot wounds, the act requires hospitals, outpatient surgical facilities, and outpatient clinics to report to the local or state police on patients treated for stab wounds as soon as practicable after treatment.
Existing law requires gunshot wound reports to provide the (1) injured person's name and address, if known; (2) nature and extent of the injury; and (3) treatment circumstances. The act extends these provisions to stab wound reports. It also requires reports for both gunshot and stab wounds to include the (1) patient's age and sex, (2) wound type, and (3) name of each health care provider who treated the wound.
Under the act, an employee of these health care facilities must ensure that any bullet, other foreign object, or clothing removed from a patient with damage potentially related to a gunshot or stab wound is identified as coming from that patient. A facility employee must also ensure that these items are kept in a way that preserves their integrity until an employee surrenders them to the police or their retention period expires under the facility's retention policy, whichever is earlier.
Under the act, any of these facilities or their employees making the report, cooperating during the ensuing investigation or proceeding, or preserving or surrendering the item to the police as set forth above are generally immune from liability arising from or related to these actions. The immunity applies to civil or criminal liability or the suspension, revocation, or surrender of a professional license, registration, or certification. However, immunity does not apply if the facility or employee (1) did not act in good faith or (2) committed gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
OLR Tracking: JO; MF; MS: tjo