State workplace regulators are investigating Stanford Hospital after a nurse in her 70s was attacked by a patient in a psychiatric unit earlier this month in an incident police learned of two days later.
The attack, which left the nurse with serious injuries, took place on March 12, but Palo Alto police did not learn of the incident until March 14.
Another nurse was injured in the incident as she tried to break up the assault, according to Frank Polizzi, a spokesman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).
Palo Alto police spokeswoman Janine De la Vega said investigators have conducted interviews into the incident and plan to refer the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office next week. Prosecutors could charge the patient with battery and elder abuse, De la Vega said.
So far, the victims and the patient involved in the assault, first reported by the Stanford Daily, have not been identified.