January 11, 2018 / 6:13 PM / 11 days ago

Baltimore hospital probes release of thinly clad patient in cold

(Reuters) - A Baltimore hospital has opened an investigation into why a patient was discharged on a freezing night this week and left outside wearing only a thin medical gown, after a video of the incident posted on Facebook attracted wide attention.

The video taken by a bystander shows what appear to be security guards, one with a wheelchair, walking away from a woman at a bus stop outside the University of Maryland Medical Center midtown hospital on Tuesday.

The woman is dressed in a gown and socks with a hospital mask around her neck, and her belongings are packed in bags placed at the bus stop. The woman appears disoriented and does not speak, waving her hands and screaming when asked if she needs help.

A woman discharged from a hospital is seen in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., in this image taken from a January 9, 2018 video footage obtained from social media. IMAMU BARAKA/via REUTERS

The bystander called an ambulance, which picked up the woman.

“We share the shock and disappointment of many who have viewed the video showing the discharge of a patient from the Emergency Department,” the hospital said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are taking this matter very seriously, conducting a thorough review, and are evaluating the appropriate response, including the possibility of personnel action.”

The hospital did not identify the woman, give her condition or say why she had been released.

The National Weather Service said the overnight temperature in Baltimore on Tuesday fell to the 20s Fahrenheit (minus 1 to minus 6 Celsius).

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Alistair Bell

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