Aneonatal intensive care nurse in Florida has been fired after hospital officials found out that she mocked a newborn with a birth defect on her personal social media accounts. WFOR-TV reports that the nurse, Sierra Samuels, shared photographs of a newborn with gastroschisis, where a baby’s intestines are found outside of the baby’s body, exiting through a hole beside the belly button.
The photos were captioned, “My night was going great then boom!” and “Your intestines posed (sic) to be inside not outside baby! #gastroschisis,” according to WFOR-TV.
Lidia Amoretti, a spokesperson for Jackson Memorial Hospital, told NBC News that hospital administrators first learned of the incident on September 8. Officials subsequently placed Samuels on administrative leave, pending an investigation over privacy violations. She was fired on September 15, Amoretti said.
Posting photos of patients without authorization is often considered a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), whose purpose is to protect patient’s medical records and other personal health information, according to NBC News.
The hospital, in a statement, said, “Employees who violate these privacy rules, despite being educated, are subject to disciplinary action including suspension or termination. As soon as we learned of this potential breach, we immediately placed this employee under administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Samuels has more than 600 Instagram followers on the account she posted the photos to. She had worked for Jackson Memorial since 2016.