There are times where a doctor or a hospital will decide to let the patient go before they are stable enough to be discharged. This decision can lead to the patient having to go back to the hospital, or to another hospital. By making this decision, it can sometimes be means for medical practice claim. Below will be described how it becomes one.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Even if something bad happens, or the patient is not happy with their outcome, it does not mean it will be a medical malpractice claim. The steps taken by the person or facility in question have to have fallen under the acceptable standard of care, and have to have led to the injury of the patient.
When we talk about early discharge of a patient, we would have to ask whether another doctor under the same circumstances would have decided to discharge the same patient too early. If it comes up that the other doctor would not have discharged the patient, then it could be a foundation for a malpractice claim.
Keep in mind that even though the patient might have ended up going back to the hospital, it does not suggest that any harm was done the patient because of the early discharge. If you ended up returning to the hospital to receive treatment that you were supposed to get before being discharged too early, but it did not cause you any harm, then it does not constitute a medical malpractice case. It might be a nuisance to the patient having to return to the hospital, but it is not considered malpractice. Speak with a Medical malpractice attorney right away.
Why is Does Early Discharge Occur?
Some factors associated with the early discharge of a patient could be an overcrowding of patients and the hospital wants to quickly discharge the current patients to allow new ones in. There may be a shortage of staff, the amount of beds, and even the amount of surgeries that the hospital can handle at a given time.
These factors can be prevented if there was a better planning from the hospital. They would have sufficient beds and staff if planned accordingly. If you did get injured from an early discharge, you could include some of the following for your claim:
- There was no follow-up
- Lack of diagnosis and treatment
- No testing was done before being discharged
- Did not check if patient was stabilized
Showing Your Claim Beyond a Doubt
You will require a medical expert that will testify. This expert has to be trained in the same area that the medical professional who discharged you was. The medical expert will determine if the early discharge was a result of not obtaining the standard medical care, and also, how is it that you were exactly harmed by the early discharge.
Along with making your claim, you will have to file for an affidavit that is signed by a medical expert who will have to describe all of the above.
What Can You Be Awarded?
With every malpractice claim, there are certain things that a patient is compensated for. Some of those include:
- Medical fees: Only the fees that would not have come about if you hadn’t been discharged
- Loss of income: Any income that you lost by missing work because of the premature discharge
- Loss of future income: If you are unable to work because of the harm done by the early discharge
- Pain and suffering: Depends on the permanency and degree of the injury
How to Prevent Early Discharges
If you believe that you are being discharged too soon, you could do the following to defend yourself:
- Ask for your rights of discharge
- Speak with your attending physician about your discharge and how you believe it might be too early
- Don’t let yourself go unheard if you are experiencing pain
Did you know that infants are the ones who discharged too early the most? They must be kept for at least 48 hours before being discharged. Don’t fall a victim of early discharges. Know your rights. Early discharges can lead to serious health conditions and potential deaths. If you endured damages because of being discharged prematurely, we defend your rights with our talented personal injury attorneys.
About the author: Percy Martinez is a personal injury lawyer with over 20 years’ experience practicing in the state of Florida. For more information about personal injury visit his personal injury blog.