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Early discharge: Does it count as medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice refers to errors or omissions made by health care professionals, such as doctors and nurses, during patient care. Doctors and nurses should always prioritize their patients’ health. This principle applies to all treatments and also to the timing of patient discharge.

In Georgia, the premature discharge of a patient may constitute medical malpractice under certain conditions.

Did the early discharge harm the patient?

Health care providers often discharge patients when they believe their conditions are stable or improved. However, whether an early discharge qualifies as medical malpractice depends on the following criteria:

  • Establishing a breach of duty: Did the healthcare provider fail to meet the accepted standard of care? This is determined by whether other competent doctors would have made the same decision under similar circumstances.
  • Proving causation: Was there a direct link between the early discharge and the harm suffered? It’s crucial to confirm that the harm wasn’t due to underlying health conditions or other factors but was a direct result of the premature discharge.
  • Demonstrating harm: Did the patient suffer significant harm or injury due to the early discharge? This harm could be physical, such as a worsening of the patient’s condition, or financial, like additional medical bills.

Personal injury cases, including medical malpractice cases, often hinge on proving these elements. If a case satisfies these elements, discharging a patient prematurely may be considered negligence and, thus, medical malpractice, especially if the patient still requires necessary medical care.

Check the facts of the case

Medical malpractice consists of proving three elements: a breach of duty, causation, and harm. However, these alone do not provide the complete picture. The specific circumstances of the situation, such as the patient’s health condition at the time of discharge and the nature of the medical condition under treatment, can also factor into the final determination.

With these variables, determining whether an outcome is in favor of the patient can be a complex and often stressful process. Not to mention, the patient may also be experiencing consequences due to the discharge itself.

So, seeking the help of a legal professional can be beneficial in these situations. They can clarify the complexities of the law and even assist in gathering necessary evidence against the negligent party.