Parkland Memorial Hospital is alleged to have violated federal safety regulations when a semiconscious young woman was sent out of the emergency room wearing only two hospital gowns and paper shoes in a shocking display of Dallas hospital negligence.
On August 16, twenty-four-year-old Tamica Millard was brought by ambulance to the main ER at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Millard had a bad reaction to K2, synthetic marijuana. She had sustained injuries after jumping through a closed second-story window. Millard was wearing a borrowed robe when admitted to the hospital because she had taken off her glass-filled clothing. She arrived at Parkland with no money, no phone, no insurance, and gave no permanent address. A social worker arranged to contact Millard’s grandmother when she was ready for discharge.
The emergency room doctors treated Millard for two leg wounds. They checked her for head injury, and sent the woman for an evaluation to the psych ER. Her robe was taken and she was given a hospital gown to wear. The psych staff determined that Millard was not suicidal and could be released in the morning.
After trying unsuccessfully to rest in a recliner, Millard was given the narcotic hydrocodone for her pain. Two hours later, at 5:32 a.m., a nurse told Millard that she was being released. When Millard mentioned that she was wearing only a gown, she was given a second gown and a pair of paper shoe covers. She had no underwear. She was shown to the door and given a bus card.
Millard, who was groggy from the medication, wandered the hospital parking lot. She was seen by several staff members, police officers, and paramedics. When she reached the Trinity Railway Express stop, Millard collapsed on a bench. At 6:45 she was woken by a DART police officer. The police officer was concerned about Millard’s ability to walk and called the paramedics and Millard’s grandmother.
The paramedics decided that because Millard was recently discharged, she did not need to be seen. Millard returned to Parkland’s main entrance. As she walked, she was soaked by sprinklers and her stitches came loose. She became so exhausted that she fell asleep at a bus stop. Eventually she made it to the hospital where she was able to call a relative.
A staff member at Parkland described Millard’s discharge as “safe and appropriate,” despite the violation of federal regulations. Parkland has been cited by the U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at least 14 times in the last five years for endangering or harming patients.