When you or a loved one visit the emergency room, you expect quality care. You would also expect that when it is time for your discharge, the medical staff would make sure you had a safe ride home or a place to go. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for those who visit hospitals in Illinois and elsewhere. A recent story has brought the seldom-heard-about issue of “patient dumping” to the public’s awareness.
In the story, reported by The Washington Post, a man took a video of a woman who was left outside a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, in freezing winter temperatures. The woman appeared confused and unable to function, and was wearing only socks and a hospital gown. After the man called authorities, the woman was readmitted to the hospital, then later sent to a homeless shelter, where her family came to pick her up. Reportedly, the young woman had a mental illness and had been missing for two weeks.
Numerous incidents of patient dumping across the country