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Florida nurse fired after posting photos of baby born with birth defect on social media

Sierra Samuels, who was a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, shared photos of a newborn with a birth defect that causes the baby's intestines to protrude from the body.

A nurse in Florida has been fired after posting photos of a baby born with a birth defect on social media, according to hospital officials.

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, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, shared photographs of a newborn with gastroschisis — a birth defect of the abdominal wall that causes the baby's intestines to protrude from the body — on her personal social media accounts.

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

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

The photos Samuels shared on social media were accompanied with the captions, “My night was going great then boom!” and “Your intestines posed (sic) to be inside not outside baby! #gastroschisis,” according to WFOR-TV, which first reported the story.