Patient dumping often happens to patients who are uninsured or who have financial troubles. In Maryland a bystander recorded a patient being “dumped” in 30 degree weather.

A Maryland hospital is being accused of “patient dumping” after a video went viral on social media which showed security guards leaving a homeless patient in the cold on Tuesday, wearing only a hospital gown and socks.

Imamu Baraka, a witness, shared footage of the incident online and was shocked after he saw, what appeared to be ,University of Maryland Medical Center Security Guards wheeling the  woman towards a sidewalk and returning to the hospital without her.

In the clip, Baraka said: “So, y’all are just gonna leave this lady out here with no clothes on? That is not okay,” and he added: “They just left all of her stuff out here. This is disgusting that they would just leave her unattended on a bus stop half naked. It’s gotta be at least 40 degrees or colder.

The hospital released a statement to People Magazine and indicated that they are conducting a review of the incident. They added that they share the shock and disappointment of those that watched the video.

“This unfortunate event is not representative of our patient-centered mission,” the statement read. “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.”

Baraka attempted to communicate with the patient, saying: “It’s about 30 degrees out here right now,” Baraka says in a recording of the encounter. “Are you OK, ma’am? Do you need me to call the police?”

The act which occurred is termed “patient dumping” and is not unknown in U.S. hospitals. In 2007 “60 Minutes” investigated the practice of removing homeless patients from Los Angeles hospitals and leaving them downtown.

This often happens to patients who are uninsured or who have financial troubles.

 

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