Hospital Discharge Presents Dangers for Patients
After a stay in the hospital, the discharge process is usually a welcome event. For most, it means a return to familiar and comfortable surroundings. But in some circumstances, a patient’s discharge represents the beginning of more pain and could even result in death. If you or a loved one was injured due to a hospital discharge error, contact knowledgeable hospital malpractice attorneys with decades of experience in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
Types of discharge errors
- Premature discharge. Under the most ideal circumstances, patients should not be discharged from the hospital until they are medically stabilized. For numerous reasons, many patients are forced to leave prior to this time. Their insurance company may refuse to pay for additional care. The doctor may fail to adequately identify ongoing issues. The problem could even be something as simple as a paperwork mix-up. Whatever the cause, a premature discharge can expose an already sick individual to increased danger.
- Inadequate discharge instructions. When allowing a patient to leave the hospital, it is vitally important that the physician and nursing staff provide the patient with instructions for continuous care. This may include such issues as:
- Dressing a wound
- Taking medication
- Following up with ongoing care
- Recognizing signs of increased illness
To enforce these instructions, it is a widespread hospital practice to provide the patient with written and verbal instructions. This process can break down in a number of ways. The doctor may give inaccurate directions, or the instructions may be incorrectly transcribed into the written materials. The discharge nurse may also neglect to go over the instructions, allowing the patient to leave the hospital without a clear understanding of continuous care.
- Inadequate coordination of care. Some patients leave the hospital and go directly into another health facility. They may transfer into a rehabilitation center or a nursing home. When this occurs, the hospital staff should communicate with a representative from the facility to coordinate the continuous care plan. If this is not done, the patient may experience a gap or alteration in services, which can prove fatal in some situations.
Trust a skilled Baltimore or Washington D.C. lawyer to represent your medical malpractice claim
The attorneys of Schochor, Federico, and Staton, P.A. are the proud recipients of numerous awards for the dedicated representation that they continuously provide. These experienced medical malpractice lawyers diligently serve the residents of Washington D.C. and Maryland, as well as national clients. Contact their office today at (888) 234-0001 for a consultation.