After surgery or other medical treatment, many hospital patients need time to recover. Although being in the hospital can be stressful, it serves a useful purpose. Someone in a weakened state needs to be close to life-saving treatment in case they relapse or develop complications.
Hospitals face many pressures to discharge patients quickly, however. Hospitals are often crowded and need to free up beds. Also, insurance companies often pressure hospitals to quickly discharge patients so that the medical bill does not get too big.
Premature discharge occurs whenever you are discharged when it is unsafe to do so. Hospitals are supposed to act on the best interests of the patient, not be pressured into doing something to benefit insurers. If you were discharged early, you could suffer a serious injury later. As our Miami medical malpractice attorneys know, the costs can be considerable.
Why Are Patients Discharged Prematurely?
If a hospital is too full, then they are supposed to divert new patients to nearby hospitals that can take them—not discharge ill and weakened patients too early. Why, then, does premature discharge happen?
In our experience, the following are the prime reasons:
- Poor communication among staff
- Wrong diagnosis
- Improper tests
- Staff negligence
- Inadequate or rushed assessment of the patient
Most often, human error is to blame instead of intentional misconduct. For example, a doctor might have mixed up patients and discharged the wrong one. However, patients can end badly injured or even dead if they are sent home too soon.
When Early Discharge Qualifies as Medical Malpractice
Medical professionals and hospitals owe patients a duty of care. This duty requires that they use the proper knowledge and skill when treating patients. If they don’t, and you are injured, you can typically sue. That is medical malpractice in a nutshell.
Often, early discharge will qualify as malpractice. For example, if staff misread a blood test and send you home, they are to blame if you later die of an infection they could have caught. Similarly, if your loved one is weakened after surgery, but a careless doctor gives the green light to discharge, you can sue if your loved one dies.
Medical malpractice is tricky. Doctors and hospitals do not guarantee that patients can improve. Sometimes, a relapse or complication is not foreseeable, even by careful staff. To determine whether you have a claim, contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLLP today. We offer free consultations to those who call 305-371-2692.