On a 37-degree Wednesday night, a Black woman who was a patient at the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus (UMMC) was dumped by hospital security at a bus stop wearing nothing more than a hospital gown and socks. Had it not been for Imamu Baraka, a good Samaritan who happens to be a licensed mental health professional, the woman’s condition could have been further jeopardized. Baraka filmed the incident and posted it to Facebook while calling for help.
Baraka approached the security team after watching them roll her in a wheelchair to the bus stop and then leaving her there with her personal belongings in bags on the ground. She had a head injury, appeared to be physically unstable. and struggled to communicate. The woman was grunting and groaning and couldn’t answer any of Baraka’s questions. He asked the guards, who were rushing back inside, why they were abandoning her.
“So y’all are just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes?” Baraka asked. “That is not okay.”
BALTIMORE (WBFF) – It's an incredibly disturbing video that's gone viral. The video shows a woman left at a bus stop outside of a Baltimore hospital Tuesday night wearing just a hospital gown and socks. The woman appears to have trouble communicating. The man who recorded the video, Imamu Baraka, says he witnessed the woman being left at the bus stop, dropped off by University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus staff. He posted the exchange to Facebook, where it's gone viral and is upsetting many people. "So you all are just going to leave this lady out here like this?" Baraka says to four hospital employees seen leaving the bus stop and going back inside the emergency department. One is pushing an empty wheelchair. Via: WBFF 45 News #horrific #baltimore #imamubaraka #goodsamaritan #americamhorrorstory #maryland
The staff, which appeared to include a Black woman, could be heard telling the therapist that the patient had been medically cleared for release and that “due to the circumstances of what happened” they were therefore justified. Baraka chided them saying that they should have instead called the police.
“This woman was placed in the city of Baltimore, in the dead of night, in the cold, vulnerable, exposed,” Baraka told CBS affiliate WJZ-TV. “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.”
He tended to the woman recognizing that she could be suffering from some mental health issues and enlisted the help of a bystander asking for a cell phone to call 911. The ambulance arrived and took the woman back inside UMMC.
With over 25,000 shares, Baraka’s Facebook videos helped bring attention to the matter which is now being picked up by mainstream media. The hospital system has issued a statement condemning the actions of the staff and are investigating the incident.
“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,” hospital spokeswoman Lisa Clough said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
“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,” Clough concluded.