A Baltimore hospital says it “failed to fulfill our mission” and is conducting an internal investigation after shocking video emerged of a patient being discharged at a bus stop on a frigid night while wearing only a gown.
The video, which was posted online by Imamu Baraka early Wednesday, has gone viral and shows the patient, who had not been identified, walking around slowly and moaning outside the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus.
“Wait, so y’all just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes on?” Baraka says to a group of workers as they're walking back to the medical facility with an empty wheelchair. “That is not okay.”
One of the workers responds, telling Baraka the dropoff was “due to the circumstances of what it was,” without elaborating.
Baraka then follows the workers back to the ambulance entrance to the hospital and asks to speak with a supervisor. Off camera, one man is heard saying “I am the supervisor” and explaining the woman “was medically cleared” to leave the facility.
Back at the bus stop, the woman, who appeared to have had her belongings dropped off with her, is filmed slowly pacing around – sometimes hunched over – while randomly moaning in a distressed tone.
When Fox News asked the hospital Thursday what the criteria is for a patient to be medically cleared, a spokeswoman said she was “not sure” and didn’t believe the hospital put the policy online. She would not say whether the workers in the video were hospital employees or were from a security company, and said the hospital is not releasing further information on the incident at this time.
An entry in a patient handbook offered on the University of Maryland Medical Center’s website says when “it is time to leave, your doctor will discharge you.
“Your health care team will help you get ready to leave and give you and your loved ones instructions on at-home care,” it adds. “They will also help you arrange to get medicines, special equipment or supplies.”
The hospital said on its Facebook page in response to the video that officials are “taking this matter very seriously, conducting a thorough review, and are evaluating the appropriate response, including the possibility of personnel action."
A statement added: “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.”
The hospital said that 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 (which is not depicted in the video).”
Baraka did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News. After filming the video, he called 911 and the medics ended up taking the patient back inside the hospital, according to a CBS News report. The woman's condition was not immediately clear Thursday.
Data from the National Weather Service said temperatures near the hospital were in the mid-30s in the hours around when the video was recorded.
“This is disgusting that they would just leave her unattended on a bus stop, half naked,” Baraka is hearing saying in the video. “It’s about 30.”
“Right,” says a man sitting at the bus stop. “It’s cold out.”