Medical Malpractice and Premature Discharge
When a doctor-patient relationship is established, there is an implied agreement - the medical professional is obligated to provide care and/or treatment. Furthermore, the medical care provided must meet the accepted standard of care, or that which would be provided by a similarly trained doctor in the same situation.
Neglect to provide the accepted standard of care is classified as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can take place in many forms, one of which is premature discharge. Individuals in Irvine, CA who have suffered as the result of medical malpractice involving premature discharge can work with medical malpractice lawyers Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos to seek financial compensation for their losses.
Why Are Patients Discharged Early?
Premature discharge, or sending a patient home from the hospital before they have been thoroughly treated, is more common than most people would imagine. There are a few reasons that patients may be discharged before they are ready.
One of the most common reasons for premature discharge is overcrowding. Hospitals and emergency rooms often have more patients than there are beds. If there is not a space to let the next patient in, they may rush to send another patient home.
Understaffing is another cause of premature discharge. Even if the hospital has space for all their patients, they may not have the medical staff to treat them. To lighten the load for the medical staff on shift, patients can be discharged prior to being adequately treated.
Finally, profit is another potential cause of premature discharge. Many hospitals prioritize profit over patient care. The more patients they see, the more money they make, so they are motivated to move patients on quickly, and sometimes before they are ready.
No matter what the reason for premature discharge, there is no excuse for releasing a patient before their condition has been stabilized. Individuals in the Irvine area who believe they were discharged prematurely should discuss the possibility of a lawsuit with our medical malpractice attorneys.
Proving Premature Discharge
When filing a medical malpractice claim for our clients, there are three main factors that need to be proven:
- The medical professional was obligated to provide care/treatment to our client.
- The medical duty was breached, either by a neglect to provide care, or by the failure to meet the accepted standard of care.
- Our client suffered physical and/or financial damages as a result of medical neglect.
Proving a breach of duty is the most complex part of a medical malpractice case. When it comes to demonstrating that a patient was prematurely discharged, we rely largely on medical records and expert testimony. Medical records can show that a patient was discharged before their condition was treated or stabilized, while expert testimony is necessary to show that a competent medical professional would not have agreed to the discharge.
Damages for Medical Malpractice Involving Premature Discharge
If medical malpractice results in losses for our client, medical professionals should be held liable for damages. The specific damages in a medical malpractice case vary based on the losses experienced by the patient. Common sources of financial compensation for our Irvine clients include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, attorneys Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos would be happy to listen to the details of your situation. Send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call (949) 438-4416 to schedule a legal consultation and find out if you have the grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.