Typically, most people don’t want to be in the hospital. It can be a very unpleasant, isolating, and expensive experience, and you’re generally there because you’re in a lot of pain. Even so, you also don’t want to be discharged from a hospital far too early, when you could still be in grave need of care to live comfortably – or even live at all.
Healthcare professionals should know when it’s safe to discharge patients from their care, and premature discharges are often due to medical negligence and malpractice. To learn more about premature discharge and your legal recourse against such an incident, read on. To discuss your specific case, contact a Fargo personal injury attorney directly.
Why Do Hospitals Discharge Early?
First of all, if you’re concerned that you or a loved one might be released from care too soon, express those concerns to the most immediate healthcare professional, and request your hospital’s discharge rights, so you know how to challenge and appeal a premature one. But if they still release prematurely despite your wishes, there are some common circumstances as to how and why.
Infant Discharge: Hospitals recommend that babies are monitored for a minimum of 48 hours after birth, but their individual needs may demand longer supervision. Obviously, an infant can’t vocally articulate these needs, so disagreements may arise over the necessary supervision length.
Overcrowding: Sometimes, a hospital may lack (or appear to lack) the resources to meet everyone’s needs, whether that’s sufficient staff or beds. This might sound like an inevitable issue, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but sometimes it can stem from poor resource allocation or ulterior economic incentives on the hospital’s behalf.
Rushing: In perhaps the most egregious and negligent form of premature discharge, the care professional neglects to perform necessary exit procedures. These include failure to test and establish medical stability, failure to treat or diagnose, and failure to schedule any important follow-up visits that may be needed.
How Do You Prove Malpractice?
Not every premature discharge is an instance of medical malpractice. To conclusively constitute negligence, you must conclusively establish that the attending physician failed to provide the required standard of care when discharging you early, and you suffered injuries and losses as a result. The first element is difficult to prove alone without expert analysis regarding whether the doctor breached the standard of care given your specific circumstances.
Once you can show malpractice, you might need to prove one or more of the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent injuries
- Wrongful death
It’s difficult enough as is to suffer through severe health issues. You shouldn’t have to suffer through injuries from medical malpractice on top of that. That’s why you should speak to an experienced attorney who’s adept at handling these claims and who can help you.
Speak with Fargo Personal Injury Attorneys
Our personal injury lawyers in Fargo are well-versed in investigating and proving medical malpractice claims. To learn more and arrange a free initial case evaluation, email or Tatum O’Brien, Tim O’Keeffe, or Sara Monson, or give the O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys team a call at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 toll-free.