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Hospital shooting puts spotlight on security

Leaders at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center are reviewing security procedures following a murder Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2017, inside the intensive care unit at New Hampshire’s largest hospital, allegedly at the hands of a Warwick man. (WCVB)

Leaders at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center are reviewing security procedures following a murder Tuesday inside the intensive care unit at New Hampshire’s largest hospital, allegedly at the hands of a Warwick man.

Hospital officials said they are comfortable with their security measures and that staff was well-trained to respond to the shooting.

Brown University medical school professor Dr. Eli Adashi helped write an article on hospital shootings in the U.S. for the Journal of the American Medical Association two years ago after a doctor was shot and killed at a Boston hospital.

The article noted the increase in active shooter incidents in hospitals in the past decade to an average of nearly 17 per year.

“We think of a hospital like we think of a house of prayer, as a sanctuary,” Adashi told NBC10 News during an interview Wednesday.

Adashi and his colleagues wrote about possible security measures hospitals could take.

“It's a difficult trade off,” he said. “The last thing we want to see is a hospital turned into a fortress.”

More security cameras and security guards, limiting the number of entrances and exits, possibly adding metal detectors, and beefing up concealed weapons laws are among Adashi's recommendations.

“It would be unthinkable to see a guard at the entrance to a hospital armed with an automatic weapon,” Adashi said. “I don't think we are there. I think there are many other things we can do.”

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