Premature Discharge from Hospital
Sometimes a doctor or hospital decides to discharge a patient prematurely from the facility where they are receiving treatment. However, patients are not always medically stable to go home, and a discharge may occur too early. If a patient needs to be readmitted to the hospital as a result of a worsening condition or other harm, the decision for a premature discharge may be considered medical malpractice. If you are harmed by a premature discharge from a hospital or clinic, our Ocala medical malpractice lawyers may be able to evaluate whether negligence occurred and represent you in a lawsuit for damages.Premature Discharge from a Hospital or Clinic
Hospitals and clinics often face overcrowding. As a result, they may sometimes rush to get a patient who seems reasonably stable out of their care. This may be to open up a bed or ensure that there are enough staff members to attend to all of the patients. Sometimes the operating room can only handle a certain number of surgeries. However, hospitals are supposed to conduct sufficient planning to care for the patients whom they see.
Whether a premature discharge from a hospital is actionable depends on the circumstances. We will need to look at whether the discharge fell below the accepted professional standard of care and whether the discharge actually caused the injuries. The professional standard of care is determined by looking at what a similar health care professional — in the same field as the defendant — would have done in an identical or similar situation. Sometimes this standard of care will vary based on specific attributes of a patient. For example, an elderly patient with multiple medical concerns might be treated differently from a young patient with only a single issue.
If you do not believe that a similarly situated doctor would have discharged you in light of your condition and where you were in your treatment, and the premature discharge injured you in some way, you may have a basis to bring a medical malpractice claim. It is critical to retain an expert to look at the standard of care under the circumstances and whether the premature discharge caused actual damages. Simply needing to be readmitted does not necessarily mean that the doctor did something wrong in discharging you.
You must show that you were harmed by the delay that resulted from being prematurely discharged. For example, you might be harmed because there was not enough testing conducted before the discharge, and testing would have revealed a new cancerous growth that required treatment. Similarly, you might be harmed if a doctor failed to treat a secondary infection that you acquired in the hospital, and as a result, you sustained serious injuries. Also, you might be harmed if a doctor failed to make sure that your family member was medically stable before the discharge, and as a result of the instability, they rapidly declined and died.
Typically, it is necessary to retain one or more expert witnesses on the issue of whether there was a breach in the professional standard of care and whether this breach caused actual damages. The expert is supposed to be knowledgeable and experienced in the same field as the defendant so that they can provide convincing information to the jury about what the standard of care was, how it was breached, and whether it caused damages.
If you can establish liability for a premature discharge from a hospital, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. These damages may vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the premature discharge and what happened as a result of it. In some cases, such as when there is a loss of earning capacity or future wage loss, we may need to retain additional experts to testify on damages.Seek Assistance from a Hospital Negligence Lawyer in Ocala
At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced Ocala attorneys can represent you in a medical malpractice case involving a premature discharge from a hospital. Contact us online or call us at 352-387-8700 for a free appointment with a hospital negligence lawyer. We also represent people in Crystal River, The Villages, and other areas of Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties.