Infant Wrongful Discharge from a Hospital: Florida Parents Have Rights
It’s understandable that you want to welcome your new baby into your home as soon as possible after birth. Still, there may be medical reasons to remain under care of medical professionals for a certain time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that hospitalization for mother and child should be long enough to pinpoint and address problems, and ensure a smooth transition to the home environment. For various reasons, health care providers may not always consider these guidelines.
Wrongful discharge from the hospital can have severe medical consequences, some of which could amount to medical malpractice. It’s important to consult with a Florida medical malpractice lawyer regarding your specific circumstances, but read on for some important information.
Guidelines for Healthy Infants: The AAP recommends reviewing different factors to determine whether it’s appropriate and advisable for an infant to be discharged from the hospital. Some of the key guidelines include:
- No abnormalities after physical examination;
- Vital signs within normal ranges, for at least 12 hours before discharging the infant;
- The baby has completed two successful feedings, through documented nursing or bottle feeding observed by a knowledgeable caregiver;
- Regular urination and at least one bowel movement;
- Lab tests have been reviewed for various medical conditions, including HIV, syphilis, hepatitis, and others – for both the mother and infant;
- Essential vaccines and/or other treatment has been provided based upon lab test results;
- The mother has been assessed to have the requisite knowledge about providing care;
- There is no indication of notable bleeding at the incision site, for a child who was circumcised; and
- The infant doesn’t show signs of jaundice or other complications.
When Hospital Discharge is Improper: As a rule, hospital discharge of the mother or infant may be improper if it occurs within 48 hours after a vaginal delivery or 96 hours after a C-section. However, to maintain a claim for medical malpractice based upon wrongful hospital discharge, you must be able to prove:
- A certain standard of care applies under the circumstances. This involves determining what a similar health care provider – with the same skills and training, and when faced with a similar situation – would have decided about discharging you and your infant; and
- How the health care provider deviated from this standard of care by releasing you and/or your baby from the hospital.
In addition, you must be able to show that you and your baby suffered losses as a result of the provider’s deviation from the standard of care. Unless you or your child experienced a serious permanent injury or disability, you may not have a claim for medical malpractice.
Set up a Consultation with a Florida Wrongful Discharge and Birth Injury Lawyer
If you or your baby experienced complications after being released from the hospital to early after birth, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. An attorney can help, so please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to learn more about your rights. We can schedule a free case evaluation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers to review your case.