Are Hospitals Liable for Improper Discharge with the Flu?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

Have you ever gone to the hospital only to be turned away, dismissed, or told you that you aren’t really sick after all? Or have you been admitted and then discharged soon thereafter without receiving significant treatment? If so, you aren’t alone.

No one makes the decision to go to the hospital lightly. We go because we suspect something is wrong, and we deserve a thorough examination and an attentive ear from the professionals there. After all, we have no choice but to depend on their expertise.

Unfortunately, hospitals are busy, crowded places. The doctors and nurses are under pressure to push patients in and out as quickly as possible, sometimes leading to inadequate treatment, inaccurate diagnoses, and improper dismissals.

Especially common during this time of year is improper discharge with the flu.

You probably know someone who’s been sent home from the doctor’s office or hospital with little more than “it’s just the flu” as their diagnosis. Sometimes the doctors are right about that. Sometimes they’re wrong. Of course, even patients who truly do have “just the flu” may still require urgent hospital care that doctors are too quick to ignore.

When hospitals mistakenly send patients home with a flu diagnosis — or when they fail to diagnose the flu in those who have it — they may be liable for improper discharge as medical malpractice.

Improperly discharged patients may be entitled to a wide range of financial damages under Florida medical malpractice law. We explore those damages (and the scenarios in which they might arise) below.

What If You Do Have the Flu, But Still Need the Hospital’s Help?

Hospitals aren’t always wrong about the flu. But while young, healthy people do often recover with just some medication and basic home care, others need emergency intervention to survive. The flu can be a life-threatening diagnosis for small children, the elderly, immunocompromised people, patients in poor health, or anyone whose symptoms do not respond to treatment or continue to get worse.

Unfortunately, hospitals are sometimes guilty of assuming the flu “is not a big deal” and improperly discharge patients who desperately need their care.

When Are Hospitals Liable for Improper Discharge with the Flu?

Doctor and nurses have an important responsibility to exercise their professional judgment and skilled care in order to keep you well. After all, they are the experts. Patients are not expected to know whether something is truly serious, but hospitals are.

When medical professionals make mistakes that lead to further harm, they can be held financially accountable under Florida medical malpractice law. Likewise, the hospitals that employ them can be held liable as well.

Of course, not every hospital discharge amounts to medical malpractice. Whether you have a case will depend on the specific circumstances of your discharge and the consequences thereafter. But please never make the mistake of assuming that you don’t have rights. Florida hospitals are held to a very high standard, and with an experienced attorney’s help, patients are often able to prevail for improper discharge.

At Kaire & Heffernan, LLC, we have helped ailing patients just like you recover damages for a failure to diagnose, including:

  • Hospital bills
  • Other related medical bills
  • The cost of additional or continuing care
  • Lost earnings
  • Impaired ability to earn future wages
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of a loved one’s life (wrongful death)
  • Much more

Our attorneys can help you get the relief you need and deserve. Improper discharge with the flu is a serious concern, and our firm pursues these claims with the aggressive advocacy they deserve.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Do not settle for substandard medical care. Do not resign yourself to paying out of pocket for a doctor’s or hospital’s mistake. Let our malpractice attorneys fight for you instead. Call Kaire & Heffernan, LLC for a free assessment of your case.

Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 15 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for 4 years.