Florida Nurse Fired for Posting Pictures of Newborn with Birth Defects on Social Media

A neonatal intensive care nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami was fired after she mocked a newborn with birth defects and posted pictures of the baby on social media.

Sierra Samuels, who had worked as a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami since 2016, was fired following the outcome of a weeks-long investigation into a patient privacy breach, reported CBS Miami.

Heartless Nurse

"My night was going great then boom," read a post by Samuels, showing a photo of the newborn taken inside the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

Samuels then followed it up with the second photo with a cruel caption reading, "Your intestines posed to be inside not outside baby!" She hash-tagged #gastroschisis as well.

Gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall. The baby's intestines are found outside of the baby's body, exiting through a hole beside the belly button.

Her Instagram account features a number of pictures of her on the job.

In the caption of her profile, she identifies herself as a mother and "Bipolar Lover."

The Nurse Violated a Patient's Privacy

Officials at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami first learned of the incident on Sept. 8, Lidia Amoretti, a hospital spokesperson, told NBC News in an email Saturday.

Sierra Samuels
Sierra Samuels, Florida nurse fired for posting photos of newborn with birth defect on Instagram. Twitter

Hospital officials immediately placed Samuels on administrative leave pending an investigation over privacy violations. Samuels was then terminated from her job at the hospital on Sept. 15.

"Employees who violate these privacy rules, despite being educated, are subject to disciplinary action included suspension or termination," hospital officials told WFOR.

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 (HIPAA).

Posting photos of patients without authorization is often considered a violation of the HIPAA, which is designed to protect people's medical records and other personal health information.

Jackson Health System said, "Protecting the privacy of our patients is always a top priority at Jackson Health System. Any potential privacy breach is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated."

Social Media Outrage

Netizens slammed the nurse for her sickening posts. One user wrote, "She deserves to be thrown in jail with a harsh penalty. Let this be a lesson to any sociopath who gets into healthcare. Bring back decency & integrity." Another wrote, "Sierra you are an absolute disgrace to the nursing profession. I hope you are sacked & the parents sue you."

One comment read, "Florida Man, Florida Women, now Florida Nurse." Another read, "All the more reason people should put as much pressure as is needed on the healthcare Industry to take the camera phones OUT OF THE HANDS of ALL healthcare workers during their shift. This crap happens more than the American public really knows. It MUST STOP!"

One person shared, "I'm hoping this hateful thing never ever gets a job again! She should also be prosecuted for HIPPA VIOLATIONS!"