When you go to the hospital, you expect to receive the care necessary to help you make a full recovery, or at least recover as much as feasibly possible. Doctors should treat individuals to the best of their ability and only discharge them once the medical emergency is over and a patient can move on to recovering at home or another facility. However, there are times when individuals are discharged too soon from the hospital, but we want to discuss whether or not this rises to the level of medical malpractice.
Early Discharge – Examining Whether This is Malpractice
Hospitals tend to want individuals to be discharged from the hospital as soon as possible. This clears up room for additional patients to come in and use the beds available. Additionally, there are times when individuals do not need to be at a hospital for basic treatment, as medical care has significantly improved, and monitoring can often take place at home, but only for non-life-threatening conditions.
There are also times when hospitals face overcrowding, which can lead to a push to discharge patients so they can move individuals from the emergency room into hospital beds.
There are situations when doctors or hospitals make a decision to discharge a patient too soon, before the patient is medically stable enough to be in their home environment. In cases where a patient has to be re-admitted to the same or a different facility, this could amount to medical malpractice.
When examining whether or not an early discharge results in medical malpractice, we have to determine whether or not the care the doctor or hospital provided fell below the accepted “medical standard of care.”
Standard of care is a legal term, not a medical term, and is used to describe the level and type of care that a similarly trained healthcare professional would have provided the patient under similar circumstances.
When a person is discharged too early from the emergency room or the hospital, the question that needs to be asked is, “Would this patient have been discharged given their condition and other circumstances by a similarly trained physician or facility?”
These cases can be complicated because, let’s face it, medical care is complicated. Just because a person is re-admitted to the hospital for the same issue does not necessarily mean that the previous doctor or facility committed malpractice. There are times when individuals are certainly okay to go home and then end up having their condition become worse.
Examining Malpractice for a Claim
It is crucial to work with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer in Los Angeles if you think you have been harmed as a result of the actions of a medical professional. If you think you or a loved one were discharged too soon from a hospital and sustained negative health effects as a result, you need to let an attorney examine your case and determine the best steps moving forward. If medical malpractice did occur, individuals should be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more. The total amount of compensation available in these situations will depend on a range of factors, and an attorney will work with trusted economic and medical experts to help adequately calculate the compensation amount.