Patient found on sidewalk in front of hospital


CONYERS — A man who apparently left Piedmont Rockdale Hospital Thursday collapsed on the sidewalk in front of the hospital and was returned to the hospital’s ER by ambulance, according to the Conyers Police Department.

Conyers Deputy Chief of Police Scott Freeman said the man, who appeared to be in his mid-60s, was reportedly escorted out of the hospital by hospital security around 10 a.m. Thursday. Freeman said the man still had medical tubing connected to his body and was lying on the sidewalk unresponsive when police arrived shortly after 11 a.m.

Police called National EMS to the scene to do an evaluation on the man. Freeman said EMTs found the man to have sepsis, a high heart rate, fever, a urinary tract infection and a possible bladder infection. Freeman said EMS was “immediately transporting” the man to the hospital’s ER.

Freeman said the Police Department first became aware of the situation Thursday morning when hospital security asked police to stand by while a patient was removed. Freeman said the CPD did not respond because “that is not a police function to remove patients from a hospital.” He said it was his understanding that the hospital’s security team escorted the man off hospital property.

Freeman said the Police Department received a call about the man from a passerby; he drove over to check on the situation shortly after 11 a.m. and found the man on the sidewalk off Milstead Avenue.

“This man is laying out on the sidewalk unresponsive, and this is how they brought him out,” said Freeman. “They escorted him off the property and just left him on the sidewalk. This is inhumane; this is not who we are as city, as a county, or even as a country. Or at least it shouldn’t be.”

That’s when EMS was called.

“In my training, an unresponsive person requires EMS,” said Freeman.

The Citizen reached out to Piedmont Rockdale for information about the incident, but the hospital declined to comment.

Freeman said this is not the first instance where the Police Department has been called to assist with patients who have had to leave the hospital without the resources they need.

“They are forcing the police to deal with these types of situations because they are literally — this is a textbook case — pushing the problems out on the sidewalk,” Freeman said.

Freeman said he intended to file a report on the incident with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

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