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Premature Discharge from Hospital Malpractice

In 2018, Maryland hospitals and doctors are often pushing patients out the door in the emergency room or after receiving treatment.

When a patient is discharged too soon, it puts the patient at risk for problems that could have been managed in a hospital, but cannot be managed at home. If the patient needs to be readmitted or dies as a result, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be warranted.

Our law firm handles these cases.  A few years ago in Baltimore, one of our client’s client was awarded $5.3 million by a Baltimore City jury in a premature discharge case.  

Why Hospitals Rush Patients Out the Door?

Hospitals rush patients out of their facilities for three main reasons:

premature hosptial discharge malpractice

  1. Too busy. According to two studies at the University of Maryland, patients discharged during a hospital’s busiest times were 50 percent more likely to seek readmission in three days.
  2. Money. One secret of modern hospitals is that surgeons and hospitals both make the most money by performing as many operations as possible. Hospitals operate on an incentive-driven model that pushes them to perform as many surgeries as possible. We saw this very clear in Baltimore with the St. Joe stent scandal. So hospitals have an incentive to rush patients out and get new ones in for surgery.
  3. Medical errors. Sometimes, patients are prematurely released from the hospital simply because the doctors made a mistake in judgment and did not appreciate the risk to the patient in sending her home. Sometimes, it is something as simple as a test that was not done or was misinterpreted.

Early Infant Hospital Discharge

Early discharge of infants is both the most common type of premature discharge and the one that is the riskiest. Babies are discharged much quicker than they were 50 years ago. Largely, this is not a problem with normal, healthy babies. The bigger issue is when the child has complications, especially with premature births and low birth weight infants who received neonatal intensive care. Again, there are cost-containment issues that push these children toward an early release from the hospital that often ends in both the need for readmission and harm to the child.

Emergency Room Early Discharge

Most early discharge emergency room cases are really misdiagnosis cases. The cases we seem to see the most are a failure to diagnose a heart attack or stroke or the failure to recognize that the patient has a serious infection.

Do You Have an Early Discharge Medical Malpractice Case

Not every hospital readmission means there was medical malpractice. Approximately 20% of Medicare patients need to be readmitted to the hospital after the initial release. This does not mean there was malpractice in all of these case. There are two basic questions that have to be asked. First, would a reasonable doctor have discharged the patient based on all of the available facts? If the answer is no, the second question is whether the patient suffered an injury as a result. If there was harm done by the early release of the patient, you have the elements of a medical malpractice case. But, as a practical matter, most medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland are not going to pursue a claim unless the injuries suffered are significant or the patient dies as a result of the negligence.

Getting Help for Your Case

Our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys handle serious cases in every county in Maryland and Washington, D.C. We have an amazing history of taking on hospitals and doctors and winning great settlements and verdicts. There are no guarantees in any case and our past success does not guarantee anything in the next case. But experience matters. We fight to put you in the position to win your case and get you the money you deserve for what has happened. Call us. There is no charge. You can get us 24 hours a day at 800-553-8082. You can get also get a free no obligation case review get a free claim evaluation.

Client Reviews
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois. Maggie Lauer
The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa
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