Nobody wants to be in the hospital longer than they have to. Most of us are counting down the minutes until we can go back home.
However, sometimes we need to stay in the hospital to receive proper treatment. Our doctors have a legal duty to not discharge us until it is healthy and safe to do so.
Although you might be longing to get back home, there may come a time when you are in the hospital and know you should probably stay a bit longer.
Listen to your intuition
Perhaps your symptoms have not gone away or have even gotten worse. Maybe you are still having trouble performing basic daily tasks.
But what if the hospital tells you that they are discharging you? It’s natural to assume that the doctor knows best, but the reality is that sometimes doctors discharge patients too early, for various reasons.
Failure to treat
Being discharged from a hospital too early is called a failure to treat and is a form of medical malpractice.
There are signs that you should look for to determine if the hospital might be discharging you too early.
Essential life functions
You should not be discharged if you cannot perform basic life functions and movements. These include getting out of bed, eating and using the restroom without assistance.
If you are leaving with a treatment plan, you should be able to treat yourself at home or with the help of a caretaker. If you cannot, you should stay at the hospital.
Your home setup
Your doctor should ask you about your home and how it is set up. If your home setup would prevent you from healing or result in complications, the hospital is probably where you should be.
It can be difficult to tell if you are being discharged too early, but if you feel like you are not ready to leave, speak up. Tell your doctor you are not ready.
Your options after a too early discharge
If you are discharged too early, and experience further complications or medical issues from the discharge, you could file a medical malpractice claim. A successful claim could compensate you for the losses you experienced from the early discharge.