Premature Hospital Discharge Negligence Claim *
Negligence claims as a result of premature hospital discharge * occur when a patient is released from the hospital too soon after an injury or surgery. If a patient is discharged from a hospital prematurely it can have a serious impact on the state of their health. The medical team have a duty of care to ensure that all patients leaving the hospital are in a stable condition and if they are being released that their recovery can continue from the comfort of their home without complication. It is worthwhile noting that hospitals do have procedures in place to ensure that a patient is genuinely ready to leave. In cases of medical negligence, these procedures may be overlooked or ignored. A person should only be discharged if they are:
- Medically fit to be discharged
- After the assessment, it is safe for you to continue your recovery from your own home
- Support is offered to you in your own home after discharge
- A care plan had been clearly laid out detailing the help you will receive at home.
Negligence is proven in cases where a person who has been discharged from hospital suffers a deterioration in their condition that would otherwise been avoided had they have stayed in hospital for a longer period of time.
Shortage of hospital beds
The hospital health crisis in Ireland is always topical and the facts are made well known to the public. It was reported that in January 2018 there were 677 people who were waiting for a hospital bed. This has a domino effect whereby the medical team may attempt to discharge patients to create more room. In these situations a lack of judgement can occur. The medical practitioners may make an incorrect decision to discharge a patient when they need more hospital care and supervision.
The knowledge and experience that a medical professional holds can impact on a decision to discharge a patient. Their lack of medical experience may cause them to fail to see a diagnosis or symptoms that require further attention.
In order to be successful in a premature hospital discharge claim * liability must be first proven. Liability can be shown if the medical team did, in fact, discharge a patient too early which is illustrated through the injuries suffered once discharged. The hospital can be under pressure to accommodate all patients which can affect their decisions. Putting a patients’ health at risk by the failure to carry out any of the following tasks could be classed as negligence:
- Failure to diagnose an illness
- Misdiagnosis of an illness
- Failure to carry out appropriate medical tests
- Failure to ensure the patient was in a medically stable condition
- Failure to make any follow-up appointments
Making a Claim
Speak with a solicitor
If you are in a position whereby you are contemplating bringing legal proceedings forward it is advisable to discuss your situation with a solicitor. It is important to note that medical negligence can be a very complexed topic in Irish Law. If an attempt is made to register a premature hospital discharge claim * without any consultation there is a chance that a vital step of the process could be missed.
Obtain Medical Records
Medical records can be retrieved upon request. Once obtained the information will provide a solid indicator to where liability lies. The records will be examined by an independent medical practitioner and their expert opinion will be factored in.
Letter of Claim
If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence is the cause of your injury then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim. This letter outlines the nature of the case and invites the negligent party to settle.
The next steps involved are heavily dependent on your case and response to your Letter of Claim and will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through this process.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
With over 30 years’ experience as specialist medical negligence solicitors *, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon along with providing you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.