Hospital patients are typically only released when it's clear that they are fit to leave, but occasionally they are allowed to go too early. This unfortunate circumstance is known as premature discharge and can have serious consequences for the patient involved. The following article takes a closer look at this important medical issue.
Doctors and hospital personnel have an ethical obligation to discharge patients only when it's safe to do so. This means that the patient must have a place to go where they can continue their recovery when they are released. Typically, this means the patient goes back home or to another medical facility, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center. In some cases, physicians and hospital personnel must resist efforts by administrators to discharge patients prematurely to save money or free up hospital beds.
If you are ever a hospital patient watch for any signs that you are being released too soon. A premature discharge may have negative consequences for your health. Here are some signs to watch for.
If you are not able to get in and out of bed easily, this could be a warning that you are not ready to leave the facility. In this case, you should only agree to leave if you have someone at home who can assist you with this task. The same thing applies to tasks such as going to the bathroom and feeding yourself. You should be able to do these things on your own or have caregivers who can help you.
Also, make sure that you will have access to any prescription medications once you leave the facility. If your insurance does not cover a prescription, find an alternative way to obtain the medication before you are discharged. The last thing you want is to return to the hospital after a discharge because you could not afford your medications.
If you are subjected to premature discharge and your health is harmed as result, you may have a legal case against the doctors and the facility responsible. To win your case, you will need a medical professional to testify on your behalf and state that the doctor or hospital personnel involved were guilty of giving you substandard care when they cleared you for discharge.
Of course, to file any malpractice lawsuit, you must have an experienced attorney at your side who can help you navigate through all of the legal complexities. For best results, search for qualified medical malpractice attorneys in your area.