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Does an Early Discharge from a Hospital Indicate Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice LawyerDoctors in hospitals are often observed making the mistake of signing the discharge papers too early, which may cause the condition of the patient to deteriorate over time. For example, if a patient recently had an open-heart surgery and was discharged too early, there is a high chance they did not recover up to the standard of medical care. Moreover, if any serious problem arises because of their critical condition, doctors may not be able to respond immediately to stabilize the patient. In such a case, the victim or their loved ones may have a valid medical malpractice claim against the discharging doctor or the medical facility.

When Discharging Early is Safe

Most people don’t like the hospital environment and want to leave as soon as they start to feel better, rather than waiting for their doctor and other staff to declare it is safe to discharge the patient. However, it is the duty of the doctor to make the right decisions for the patient’s well-being and safety. Hospitals and doctors consider discharging patients safe when:

  • They have stable vital signs.
  • Their health condition has been improving consistently with no major setbacks.
  • They have become capable of taking care of themselves or their condition is stable enough that a caregiver can look after them.
  • The underlying problem, or the reason they got admitted, has been treated.
  • They understand their treatment plan and medication, and know when they should seek medical attention.

If a doctor releases a patient who does not fulfill any of the above requirements, it may be considered as medical malpractice.

Proving your Medical Malpractice Claim

Almost every medical malpractice case requires the testimony of an expert witness to prove the claim during trial. It is essential for the medical expert to have experience and special training in the same field as your doctor who signed your release documents. They will have to establish that the decision of releasing you from the medical care was not right under those circumstances. They may also be required to elaborate on how that decision caused harm to you.

What Damages you can Recover

If you are able to prove the medical malpractice of your early discharge, you may recover the following damages:

  • Medical expenses: This includes only those expenses that you would not have incurred if you were not discharged early.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If you had to forgo a certain amount of income because of your inability to perform certain work activities, you may receive compensation for the loss of your earning capacity.
  • Lost wages: You may recover the amount of income that you lost for missing work because of your condition.
  • Pain and suffering: The amount of compensation for pain and suffering is based on the permanency and severity of the damage you sustained from the early discharge.

If you think the cause of your deteriorating health is early discharge from the hospital, you can file a medical malpractice case to get compensation for the damages. Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.