Patient Assaulted Nurse with Blood, Police Say

Hepatitis C positive patient at St. Luke's Anderson emergency room threw her intravenous lines at a nurse, who was hit in the face with blood and other fluids, police say.


A woman infected with hepatitis C has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly ripping two intravenous lines out of her arm and throwing them at an emergency room nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital, Anderson Campus.

Judy Esther Shadder, 59, of 940 Berger Road in Williams Township, was arrested Tuesday by Bethlehem Township police for the alleged Feb. 14 attack.

The nurse, Wendy Nixon, told police that she was struck in the face with a mixture of blood and other fluids from the intravenous lines and an attached needle, according to the arrest affidavit.

The affidavit also says:

  • Shadder was brought to the hospital by Easton EMS at about 2 p.m. Feb. 14, for an overdose of Xanax, intoxication and suicidal tendencies.
  • Shadder had two intravenous lines in her arm along with cardiac monitor leads. All of a sudden, according to Nixon, Shadder said she was going to leave and she pulled the intravenous lines out of her arm and threw them at her.
  • On Feb. 18, the hospital informed Nixon that Shadder had “a communicable disease.”
  • Arresting Officer Robert Stametz wrote that he interviewed Shadder on Tuesday, that he read her Miranda warnings, “which she agreed to waive.” Shadder told Stametz that she tested positive for hepatitis C in the early 1990s.

Hepatitis C is a virus that generally attacks the liver and is spread primarily through blood-to-blood contact. Hepatitis C can sometimes lead to cirrhosis and serious complications in liver function.

Shadder was charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony; simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person. She was arraigned before District Judge Joseph Barner of Lower Nazareth Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.


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