Discharged from a Medical Facility too early: Is this Medical Malpractice?


Being discharged from a medical facility too early can result in as much damage as other medical-related mistakes. In case a patient with a severe medical condition is discharged from a hospital, nurses and doctors will not be able to respond in time to the complications that may arise. That means a victim of early discharge from a medical facility may have a valid medical negligence claim.

Infant early discharge lawsuits are the most common. Note that the list of the complications that may occur is endless. Besides, the consequences associated with these possible complications can be devastating and may have a life-long impact. Therefore, infants must remain within the medical facility for the first 48hours after delivery, according to the recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Note that 48 hours is the minimum duration for healthy infants. However, infants that may be experiencing complications should stay a little bit longer until the doctor is fully sure that the child is safe. In addition to the 48-hour rule, the American Academy of Pediatrics lists other 16 recommendations majorly related to various health indicators that should be considered when discharging an infant.

  • Stable and normal vital signs for the past 12 hours
  • A minimum of two successful feedings
  • Hearing and screening
  • Assessment of the environmental, family, and social risk factors
  • Proper urination and spontaneous passage of stool

Early discharge from a medical facility can also affect adults. For instance, a patient may be discharged before enough testing for post-surgery infection is done. In some cases, a heart surgery patient may be discharged from a hospital before enough testing of the pacemaker is done. Such instances can affect the patient negatively, and it’s recommended to work with a reliable Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer to find if you have a legitimate claim.

Was the early discharge medical malpractice?

The question of whether or not the medical practitioner committed medical malpractice boils down to whether you (the patient) was discharged before the right time. This raises the question, ‘how early is too early?’

Well, this question can be answered by determining the right medical standard of care under the circumstances. This involves establishing what would have a medical practitioner with the same level of expertise and experience have done under the same circumstances. You can also prove that you were discharged too early by pointing out how the medical professional fell short of meeting the reasonable standard of care.

Did the doctor’s negligence harm you?

For you to win a medical negligence lawsuit, you must prove that the medical practitioner’s negligence resulted in foreseeable harm. The harm takes different forms such as expenses associated with medical bills, loss of your ability to enjoy life pleasures, loss of earning capacity, pain, and suffering. The critical issue is to find whether the doctor’s negligence caused harm to the plaintiff.

For instance, think of a doctor who discharged his cancer patient after a successful competition of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the patient died immediately after being discharged. While the death occurred immediately after the discharge, it may be reasonable that the doctor’s action didn’t contribute to the death of the patient. Therefore, the patient’s loved ones have no legitimate medical malpractice claim.