A tribute to ED nurses

Image: KATU News

This happened four years ago. But it’s such a fabulous story we thought we’d revive it for Emergency Nurses Week.

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — A nurse returning from work discovered an intruder armed with a hammer in her home and strangled him with her bare hands, police said.

Susan Kuhnhausen, 51, ran to a neighbor’s house after the confrontation Wednesday night. Police found the body of Edward Dalton Haffey, 59, a convicted felon with a long police record.

Police said there was no obvious sign of forced entry at the house when Kuhnhausen, an emergency room nurse at Providence Portland Medical Center, got home from work shortly after 6 p.m.

Under Oregon law, people can use reasonable deadly force when defending themselves against an intruder or burglar in their homes. Kuhnhausen was treated and released for minor injuries at Providence.

Haffey, about 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, had convictions including conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, robbery, drug charges and possession of burglary tools. Neighbors said Kuhnhausen’s size—5-foot-7 and 260 pounds—may have given her an advantage.

“Everyone that I’ve talked to says, ‘Hurray for Susan,’” said neighbor Annie Warnock, who called 911.

“You didn’t need to calm her. She’s an emergency room nurse. She’s used to dealing with crisis.”

This post originally appeared in The Head Nurse blog.

Hat tip: Grunt Doc

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Agatha Lellis

Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at askauntieaggie@gmail.com.

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3 Responses to A tribute to ED nurses

  1. Renee King

    Please note, this is not a recent story but occurred in September 2006.

    • Miriam Bookey

      Great point. We’ll make a note of that in the article.

  2. acey

    Castle Law ftw! Good for her, glad she wasn’t hurt. I hope I have the strength and sense of mind if ever the same were happen to me.