There is something happening in hospitals across the nation that most people are not aware of, it is called “patient dumping”. Unfortunately, the reality is the term is exactly what it sounds like. People who are deemed ready to be discharged according to medical staff from a medical facility are wheeled as far as the exit, per most hospital’s policy, and then left to fend for themselves. In most cases when a person is discharged, they have someone to accompany them home or are at least in a state of health and mind to be able to procure their own passage home. That is not always the case.
In Baltimore, Maryland on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus (UMMC) a man by the name of Imamu Baraka was walking past an exit when he saw four hospital security guards wheel a woman out to the bus stop and then go back inside. On close inspection, he found the young woman to be bleeding from her head, was very confused and was wearing only a hospital gown and socks with no clothing underneath. The temperature that night was a chill 37′ degrees. Baraka immediately took action, he began filming as he followed the guards inside and questioned them. They were apathetic at best.
Baraka is a licensed counselor and a Doctor of Healthcare Administration student. He could not sit idly by and watch the woman freeze to death. He called 911 so they would take her back to the hospital for aid then waited for two hours outside to ensure they did not “dump” her again. Instead, the hospital sent her via taxi to a homeless shelter. Thanks to Baraka’s video her mother saw it and was able to come claim her mentally ill daughter who had been missing for two weeks. The woman was lucky to have such a Good Samaritan there to help her, but what about all the other “dumped” patients that aren’t so lucky? It is against the law not to release patients into a safe setting. Enforcement is the issue. Hospitals, especially in large metropolitan areas, are already full of patients and overworked employees. The solution is out there, but people must care enough to find it.