“Outrageous” images involving newborn patients at Naval Hospital Jacksonville led to the removal of two hospital corpsmen on Monday, the hospital confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday.
Photos and videos of a hospital employee improperly handling a newborn went viral — with more than 300,000 shares in less than 24 hours — after a Facebook user posted about the behavior Monday night.
“A girl I went to high school with is a navy nurse and this is how her and her…friend treat the babies that have just been born,” the woman wrote. “My blood is literally boiling.”
The video shows a hospital worker holding up a baby and making it “dance” with rap music playing in the background.
The woman also shared a screenshot of a Snapchat message that appears to show a staff member inappropriately gesturing to a newborn and calling the infant “Satan.”
The photo is captioned, “How I currently feel about these mini Satans.”
“I’m livid and I’m snitching [because] she should get fired from her job,” the woman explained.
Naval Hospital Jacksonville said they are aware of the video and photos posted online.
“It’s outrageous, unacceptable, incredibly unprofessional and cannot be tolerated,” the hospital wrote in a statement on Facebook.
“This type of behavior is incompatible with the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment, as well as medical ethics,” Deputy Public Affairs Officer Jessica Alexander told CBS News. “It also does not reflect the commitment Navy Medicine has to provide the best care our nation can offer to those who serve as well as their families.”
Alexander said they have identified the two junior enlisted staff involved, though they are unable to confirm their names given the ongoing investigation, and they have been removed from patient care. The hospital said its nurses were not involved.
“An investigation is underway,” Alexander said. “Once the investigation is complete, appropriate actions will be taken.”
On Tuesday, Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Forrest Faison directed a mandatory “all-hands stand downs” within 48 hours at all Navy Medicine commands to review oaths, pledges and the Navy Medicine’s policy regarding use of personally owned phones and other recording devices.
“I applaud the individuals who took a stand when they witnessed this inappropriate behavior online,” Faison said in a statement online. “They chose not to be silent. This is what I expect of every member of the Navy Medicine team — from the deck plate to our senior leaders.”
Faison says the hospital has notified the parents of patients involved, and he directed all commanding officers to personally contact current mothers and expectant mothers planning to deliver in any naval facility to inform them of the hospital’s actions and to address any concerns.