Common Types of Medical Discharge Negligence
Posted on January 19, 2024 in Medical Malpractice
Getting out of the hospital is usually good news for patients, but the reality is that there are various ways a person can sustain further injury or illness due to discharge negligence.
Regardless of the reason a person is in the hospital or another type of medical facility, there are procedures in place for properly discharging individuals. These procedures include how long a person should be in the hospital, giving instructions to the patient or their care team for follow-up treatment, properly explaining any wound care or medication requirements, and more.
Medical professionals can make mistakes during the discharge process, resulting in a Portland medical malpractice lawsuit. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common types of medical discharge negligence that can adversely affect patients.
Early Discharge Can Lead to Significant Patient Harm
Early discharge can look different depending on the circumstances surrounding each particular situation. Some of the most common scenarios related to negligent discharge from a medical facility include:
- Premature Discharge. Occurs when a patient is released from the hospital or another type of medical facility too soon, before the patient’s medical condition has been adequately stabilized for a safe return home.
- Discharge Without Prescribed Medication. Occurs when a patient is not provided with necessary written prescriptions or the actual prescription filled on site, potentially leading to serious harm or death.
- Discharge With Improper Medication. This includes errors in medication disbursement upon discharge, which can result from confusion over patient records or mistakes in medication labeling or type.
- Discharge Without Adequate or Proper Care Directions. Releasing a patient without sufficient and proper care instructions can lead to multiple types of harm.
- Discharge Without Notice of Critical Follow-up Appointment(s). Neglecting to provide patients with essential follow-up appointments jeopardizes their health and well-being.
- Discharge and Abandonment. This severe form of patient discharge negligence happens when a patient is discharged and left alone without care or assistance.
- Discharge of Incorrect Patient. Confusion regarding patient information can lead to the discharge of the wrong patient, posing a risk of serious harm or death.
- Discharge Prior to Complete Test Results Review. Releasing a patient before thoroughly reviewing test results and providing appropriate treatment puts the patient at substantial risk.
- Worsening of Patient Condition After Discharge. If a patient’s condition deteriorates shortly after discharge, it may be due to improper diagnosis, premature discharge, or a combination of factors.
- Discharge Based on Misdiagnosis. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to premature discharge and exacerbate symptoms of the original illness or injury.
Further Complications Due to Early Discharge
An early discharge often means individuals never receive care for the initial ailment that sent them to the medical facility in the first place. Even if individuals do receive some type of treatment, the treatment may be incomplete. Unfortunately, an early discharge often has additional unintended consequences, including the following:
- Failure to Schedule a Follow-up Visit. Often, continued medical treatment is necessary in order for a person to completely recover from their ailment. However, early discharge can complicate the processes involved with scheduling and going to follow-up visits.
- Failure to Refer to a Specialist. Specialists are typically required for even relatively innocuous medical issues, and it is not uncommon for doctors at the hospital to recommend individuals follow up with specialists soon after discharge.
- Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose. Early discharge clinical facility could result in a patient receiving an incorrect diagnosis or not receiving a diagnosis at all.
- Failure to Conduct Proper Testing Prior to Discharge. Sometimes, medical treatment can take quite a while. Even though nobody likes waiting in the emergency room or the hospital for extended periods of time, sometimes it takes this time to perform proper diagnostic tests.
Securing Compensation Due to Early Discharge Complications
If you or a loved one sustain further injury or illness as a result of negligent medical discharge from a hospital or another type of medical facility, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the alleged negligent medical provider(s).
Medical malpractice claims are challenging, but an attorney can conduct a total investigation into the claim and help you through the claims lawsuit process. If a medical malpractice claim is successful, victims can recover various types of compensation, which could include:
- Coverage of any medical costs arising due to the incident
- Lost wages if the early discharge hinders a person’s ability to work
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit for Early Discharge Negligence
In Oregon, individuals harmed due to the negligent actions of a medical professional must file a lawsuit and civil court within two years from the date when the malpractice occurred or from when the malpractice reasonably should have been discovered. If the discovery of the malpractice occurs more than two years after the incident, the claim could still be filed, but it cannot be filed more than five years after the malpractice happened.
There are several exceptions to the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Oregon, so we encourage you to speak to your attorney about your particular claim. Additionally, the statute of limitations for states surrounding Oregon throughout the Pacific Northwest have different parameters attached to their medical malpractice statute of limitations.
Speak to an Attorney After Early Discharge Negligence
If you or someone you care about has been harmed due to the negligent actions of a medical professional, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney immediately. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer can help examine the facts of your case. If you were harmed due to being discharged early from a medical facility, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. An attorney can offer a free consultation and handle your claim on a contingency fee basis if they decide to take the case.