Three Wounded Following Knife Attack in Reykjavík Nightclub

Four people have been arrested following a physical altercation at a Reykjavík nightclub yesterday, RÚV reports. Three men in their early twenties, all of whom had suffered knife wounds, were transported to the ER.

Search warrants executed, four arrested

A group of men barged into the nightclub Bankstræti Club in downtown Reykjavík last night. The group, reportedly dressed in dark clothes, attacked three other men (all of whom are about twenty years old) before absconding from the club. The police were notified at just after 11.30 PM and arrived on the scene quickly, RÚV reports.

The police immediately began searching for the assailants, who are believed to have been inside the club briefly. Dozens of police officers were involved in the investigation and a few search warrants have already been executed.

The Capital Area Police, assisted by special forces, has stated that the investigation is a priority. Investigators aim to determine whether the assault was an act of revenge or a reckoning, RÚV reports. Most of the involved parties are believed to be Icelandic, although details currently remain unclear.

“The police were armed during yesterday’s operations, given the seriousness of the attack,” a statement by the police reads.

Four Nurses Resign from Emergency Ward

Emergency room

Four nurses have resigned from their positions at the National Hospital’s Emergency Ward since yesterday, citing unacceptable working conditions and strain, RÚV reports. Ten other resignations took effect last March, and ER Department Head Helga Rósa Másdóttir says staffing shortages are already affecting the ward’s operations.

The emergency ward at Iceland’s National University Hospital has 30 beds. Nearly 100 patients were registered there yesterday, 33 of which should have been in other wards that could not admit them due to lack of space. Some patients waited over five hours for medical attention.

Such days have become the norm rather than the exception, according to Soffia Steingrímsdóttir, a nurse who resigned from the ER yesterday after seven years in the position. In a Facebook post, Soffia stated that she loves her job, but has given up hope that the situation at the ER will improve.

Cuts elsewhere impact emergency services

Helga Rósa told RÚV she is concerned it will be impossible to fully staff the ER this summer when many of its regular staff go on vacation. Staffing shortages are already affecting the department, which cannot utilise all of its space because it does not have enough staff to monitor the entire area. Helga says cuts elsewhere in the healthcare system come down on the ER, which ends up with patients on its hands that should be treated elsewhere but are turned away for lack of room.

Emergency ward staff have been vocal about the ward’s situation for years, stressing that staffing shortages and poor conditions put patients at risk. In 2019, a partial audit published by the Directorate of Health found neither lodging nor staffing conditions at the emergency ward fulfilled regulations and that the ward could not ensure patients’ rights regarding care. In the wake of the audit, the Director of Health recommended increasing staff at the ward, particularly nurses, as well as reviewing their wages and working conditions.