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Hospital Malpractice and Sending Patients Home Too Soon

By Norman Younker on October 29, 2018


Speaking to a doctor about hospital staysWhen undergoing medical treatment at the hospital, it’s important that patients be discharged once they are fully healed and well enough to no longer require medical monitoring and doctor supervision. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There are times when a patient is prematurely discharged from the hospital, which can have deadly repercussions.

The Salt Lake City, UT lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC believe that hospital errors such as early discharge after surgery or medical treatment cannot be tolerated, especially when a person’s life may be on the line. We’d like to go over some of the basics of this issue so you have a good understanding of why we feel so passionately about these matters.

Why Hospitals Discharge Patients Early

While doctors and nurses have a duty to treat patients, the unfortunate realities of medical care sometimes result in poor judgment and mistakes with terrible consequences. Some common reasons for early discharge from hospitals include:

  • The hospital is too busy and must make room for other patients
  • The hospital, in an effort to generate revenue, treats patients as customers rather than patients per se, and tries to churn out each patient as quickly as possible
  • The doctor or surgeon is negligent in their decision making and decides that a patient is well when that is not the case

Early Discharge After Emergency Room Visits

After an emergency room visit, the doctors may have treated the symptoms of an illness or injury without really addressing the root cause of the problem. This could be the result of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a condition. In the case of a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot, the early discharge of the emergency room patient could contribute to further serious health problems.

Infant Early Discharge

Infant health issues are among the most tragic and terrifying kinds of early hospital discharge. When babies are born or suffer from medical problems, doctors must make sure that they are fully well before parents can take them home from the hospital. Premature babies, infants with a low birth weight, and any babies that require intensive care should be given enough time for proper medical attention just to be on the safe side and ensure the baby does not experience any adverse health effects once they are out of the hospital’s care.

Early Discharge Following Surgery

Following open surgery or any other invasive medical procedure, some recovery time in the hospital is customary. This makes sense given the toll that a surgical procedure can take on your body and overall wellness. If you are discharged from the hospital too soon after surgery, complications may occur that only a medical facility can properly address. Without monitoring and immediate attention from medical specialists, your life may be at risk.

Patient Readmissions

Premature discharge from the hospital means an increased likelihood that you will need to be readmitted to the hospital for further care. This can be costly and take up additional time, all of which could have been avoided had you bee given proper treatment and sufficient time to recover in the first place. Doctors, surgeons, and medical facilities must be held accountable for these acts of negligence.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you or a loved one would like more information about your legal options following a premature discharge from the hospital, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at our law firm. The lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC are here to help. You can reach our office by phone at (801) 335-7025.

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