If you are in the hospital for any reason, an early discharge can cause as much damage as any medical mistake potentially could. Many patients in a hospital setting have serious medical conditions and, upon discharge, a doctor would not be able to respond immediately to any problems that arise in the patient’s health and wellbeing. But what constitutes an early discharge case?
Medical malpractice refers to any mistake that falls below the accepted medical standard of care given the circumstances. It must also result in some kind of harm to the patient, to which an early discharge will certainly constitute. When looking into the case of an early discharge, one question should be asked: “Would a similarly-skilled health care professional have discharged me given my condition and other circumstances of my treatment?” And, one must remember, just because you were readmitted to the hospital, this does not necessarily mean that you were harmed by the premature discharge. But why do so many hospitals discharge patients too early?
Reasons for Early Discharge
There can be many different reasons revolving around a hospital discharging patients early; for instance, hospitals often face overcrowding and are in a rush to get current patients out so they can get new ones in. Or, they could be concerned about the number of beds or staff available at any given time. They may be limited in the amount of surgical volume received at the time. Shortages can often be due to poor planning on the hospital’s part. A possible claim may include a failure to schedule a necessary follow-up visit for the patient, to properly diagnose and treat, to conduct proper testing prior to discharge, or to ensure medical stability.
Infant Early Discharges
There is a long list of issues that could occur early in life, and so infants should remain in a hospital for the first 48 hours after birth. Infant early discharge cases are the most common type of early discharge case. The 48-hour mark is a minimum guideline for health infants, but for those experiencing complications, longer is always recommended. There is a list of indicators that recommend that an infant may be ready for release including normal and stable vital signs for at least the past 12 hours, at least two successful feedings, a hearing screening, and risk factors assessment.
To prove medical malpractice in a discharge case, courts will analyze almost all cases using the same formula. Medical malpractice plaintiffs must prove medical negligence on the part of a health care provider, and harm caused by said negligence. You will want an experienced attorney on your side throughout this process due to the fact that there is extreme complexity in all medical malpractice cases. It could be difficult to prove negligence as it applies to an early discharge and will rely widely on proof that the discharge from the hospital setting caused you further injury. Call WTW today to assess your possible case and answer all questions you may have!