A Florida nurse has been fired for posting photos on social media mocking a newborn with a birth defect, hospital officials said. “My night was going great them boom!” one post by Samuels read, showing a photo of the newborn taken inside the hospital’s newborn intensive care unit.
Sierra Samuels, a neonatal intensive care nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, was fired Thursday following an investigation that began early last month after two photos of a newborn with an abdominal wall birth defect were posted to her Instagram account, WSVN reported.
A second photo posted by Samuels showed the newborn again and had a hashtag citing the child’s birth defect: gastroschisis, where a baby’s intestines are found outside of the body, exiting through a hole beside the belly button. “Your intestines posed to be inside not outside baby!” Samuels’ post read, WSVN reported last month.
Samuels, who posted several other photos of herself on the job, was placed on administrative leave last month after the photos surfaced. Hospital officials cited patient privacy as a “top priority” while saying the blatant breach would be investigated.
“Employees who violate these privacy rules, despite being educated, are subject to disciplinary action included suspension or termination,” hospital officials told WFOR.
Samuels had worked for the Miami-based Jackson Health System since 2016, the station reported.
An attorney told WFOR last month that Samuels not only breached the newborn’s privacy, but also violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
“In addition to the general HIPPA violation that we’d be looking at here, there’s a sense of decency about the rights and expectations we all have in our likenesses and our images,” Miami attorney David Weinstein told the station.
“With images, you have a certain expectation of privacy that if you’re in an area that you’re in an area that you believe to be private and in this case a hospital, even more so.” The child’s mother had been notified of the privacy breach, hospital officials told WFOR (The Florida Post).