A Baltimore hospital is being accused of “patient dumping” after a man captured video of security guards wheeling a woman to a bus stop in frigid temperatures, then leaving her there.
The woman was wearing nothing but a hospital gown and blue socks.
Local man Imamu Baraka said he was walking past the University of Maryland Medical Center when he saw what was going on and pulled out his phone.
“It’s about 30 degrees out here right now,” Baraka is heard saying in a video of the encounter. “Are you OK, ma’am? Do you need me to call the police?” he asks her.
What Baraka had just witnessed was something called “patient dumping,” the practice of physically removing homeless patients from hospitals, CBS News reported. There’ve been allegations of said “dumping” at hospitals across the nation for years, a 2007 investigative report by “60 Minutes” revealed, but they did not get much attention until bystanders like Baraka began recording them outside hospitals and homeless shelters.
Oftentimes, patients are uninsured or have financial issues. It’s unclear if this was the case with the patient in Baltimore.
“Come on and sit down,” Baraka repeatedly tells the woman. “I’m going to call and get you some help.”
The man later called 911 and said medics wound up taking the woman back to the very hospital she was removed from, according to the news network. The incident is now being investigated and could lead to personnel action against the hospital and the staff involved.
Officials with the University of Maryland Medical Center emailed the following statement:
“We share the shock and disappointment of many who have viewed the video showing the discharge of a patient from the Emergency Department of UMMC Midtown the night of January 9. This unfortunate event is not representative of our patient-centered mission.”
“While there are many circumstances of this patient’s case that we cannot address publicly, in the end we clearly failed to fulfill our mission with this patient, no matter the circumstances of her case or the quality of the clinical care we provided in the hospital.”