Officials at a Maryland hospital said they are investigating the situation of a discharged patient who was captured on video incoherently wandering a frigid street in only a hospital gown and socks, as several people in uniforms looked the other way.
The video posted on Facebook early Wednesday morning by a concerned man shows the woman in obvious distress near a bus stop outside the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Midtown Campus in Baltimore. As the man approaches her, four people wearing uniforms walk away from her while pushing an empty wheelchair.
“Wait, so you are just going to leave this lady out here, without any clothes on?” the man filming, identified on Facebook as Imamu Baraka, calls out to them as they walk into the marked hospital building.
One of the uniformed personnel, who identifies himself as a supervisor, replies that she was “medically cleared and discharged.”
The woman stumbles around near the bus stop with a blank expression on her face and repeatedly cries out in distress. A man seated on a bench says that her clothing was left inside plastic bags that are seen on the ground.
Hospital spokeswoman Kelly Swan, in a statement obtained by HuffPost on Thursday, confirmed that the woman was a patient there and said the hospital is investigating the incident, which “is not representative of our patient-centered mission.”
“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,” Swan said.
“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). We are taking this matter very seriously, conducting a thorough review, and are evaluating the appropriate response, including the possibility of personnel action,” she concluded.
...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..." spokeswoman for the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Midtown Campus
Baraka, who identifies himself as a local psychotherapist in one of several videos posted during the night, also called the woman’s treatment a failure in operations.
He said that after calling for help and speaking with emergency personnel who responded to the scene in an ambulance, he was left with the impression that this woman’s treatment “is a norm.”
“Individuals that are unruly are left on the street to sort of fend for themselves,” he said, before suggesting that, if she were unruly, she could have instead been involuntarily committed to a behavioral health or psych ward “until they’re clear about what’s happening.”
“You can’t expect people who have mental health issues to be pleasant because they’re ill,” he asserted.
HuffPost attempted to contact Baraka via Facebook but did not get an immediate response.