BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A video that reportedly shows a woman being left outside of a Baltimore emergency center has gone viral. In a press conference Thursday, hospital officials took “responsibility” for the incident.
A pedestrian captured the incident on video, in which he says staff at the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown campus left the woman, only in her hospital gown, near a bus stop in about 30-40 degree weather Wednesday night.
UMMC officials are investigating after the woman was left on the street in a gown and socks.
Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, told a news conference the hospital “failed” after a video posted on Facebook showed the unidentified woman mumbling and appearing disoriented in frigid weather outside. Suntha also said Thursday there are no excuses for what happened to her.
Imamu Baraka was leaving his office across the street from the hospital just as workers wheeled the patient out and left her at the bus stop.
“Are you OK? Are you able to speak? Do you need me to call the police?” Baraka said in the video, moments after the woman was left outside.
WJZ spoke with the patient’s mother, who is extremely distraught. She says her 22-year-old daughter Rebecca was left out in the cold and she had to contact police just to track her down.
The mother also said she reported her daughter missing last month and she was taken by cab to a shelter the night she was left at the bus stop.
“This woman was placed in the city of Baltimore, in the dead of night, in the cold, vulnerable, exposed,” he said. “She lets out this kind of cry. I felt that. I’m like, ‘come on, let’s go over here. Let’s sit down.’ And, then, she begins to stumble, and I’m like this is going to get bad really fast.”
“We believe firmly that we provided appropriate medical care to a patient who came to us in need,” Dr. Suntha said. “But where we absolutely failed and where we own that failure is in the demonstration of basic humanity and compassion as a patient was being discharged from our organization after having received that care.”
The University of Maryland Medical System released the following statement Wednesday:
“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 (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.”
The video was shared on Facebook by Heather Mizeur, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates and a Democratic candidate for governor in 2014. “I’m going to be on a holy reign of terror demanding some answers here,” she wrote.
“Where’s the humanity in all of this?” Baraka said.
He said he called 911 and watched paramedics take the woman back inside the hospital.
The patient’s mother says they’ve since been reunited with their daughter.
The hospital has not released the woman’s identity or circumstances surrounding the case due to privacy laws.