Early Hospital Discharges Causing Nursing Home Medical Malpractice in Minnesota

Early Hospital Discharges Can Result in Minnesota Nursing Home Malpractice


When a hospital prematurely discharges a patient, it can have serious ramifications for the following care and treatment that the patient will undergo.  Take this common example.  An elderly patient falls at home and breaks his or her hip requiring surgery at the hospital.  Before the patient is well-healed and properly ambulating, the hospital discharges the patient to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home.  When the patient get there, he or she ends up falling and re-fracturing the hip or femur.  This results in another unnecessary surgery and likely a sharp decline of the patient’s health and life expectancy.  Many times this is the beginning of the end for a patient.


This scenario is unfortunately too common.  There are several issues of liability here which could render the hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation facility liable for Minnesota medical malpractice or nursing home malpractice.


Liability of a Hospital in an Early Discharge


Before a patient can discharge a patient, the patient needs to meet several milestones to ensure that he or she is ready for transfer.  One basic milestone after a hip replacement surgery is ensuring that the patient can get up and walk by himself or herself.  Another basic milestone is ensuring the patient can stand up from sitting in a chair or from laying down.  Hospitals also need to ensure that a patient’s incision is healing properly and not infected.  If the hospital discharges a patient too early before the incision can be closed and cleared of an infection, a subsequent injury or infection could be due to the negligence of the hospital.


In addition, hospitals needs to transfer the patient when he or she is stable.  If a hospital discharges a patient that is not stable just to open up a bed for another patient or to clear the hospital floor before a holiday, that could be an impermissible early discharge.  If the patient is not ready for the transfer and is injured during the transfer, including wrongfully killed, it can be Minnesota medical malpractice.


Liability of a Rehabilitation Center or Nursing Home Due to an Early Hospital Discharge


When a hospital discharges a patient too early to a rehabilitation center or a nursing home after a hip replacement surgery, the rehabilitation center or nursing home needs to take certain steps to protect themselves from liability.  Initially, this may include challenging the hospital’s discharge of a patient that is not ambulatory yet, has an incision that appears to be infected, or a patient that is not stable and is in need of more advanced life support measures (i.e., critical care or ICU).


If the hospital discharges the patient too early and refuses to accept the patient back, the rehabilitation center or nursing home also needs to protect itself from possible liability.  This may include determining that the patient is a fall risk and employ the use of bed alarms, lower the bed, move furniture away from the bed, and put mats down on the floor.  Facilities may also need to have additional staff to remain with the patient to ensure he or she does not attempt to get up or has assistance when he or she is in need of getting up for the restroom or a walk.  When a facility fails to take their precautions, they can be just as liable as the hospital.


Early Discharges in Minnesota Can Result in Medical Malpractice for Hospitals, Rehabilitation Centers, and Nursing Homes


Patients who are discharged early from a hospital in Minnesota may become victims of medical malpractice.  When this happens in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, or any other city, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website. Initial consultations and appointments are free.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you whether there may have been a serious medical mistake causing your injury.  There is no risk, and you do not owe us money unless we win your case.


We also handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  Our Oregon office number is (541) 385-1999.  

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