A Guide to Premature Discharge


If you were discharged from a hospital before you were ready to leave, you may have the grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. However, this type of case can be complex, and you must prove that the doctor or physician failed to meet the standard of care. Review this brief guide to learn more about premature discharge and how it can be proven in court. 

What Is Premature Discharge and Why Does it Happen?

A premature discharge is any time a patient is discharged from a facility before they are medically stable enough to go home. Patients who go to a hospital should receive a diagnosis and treatment, have their condition stabilized, and receive the tests and evaluations necessary for their health. However, logistical concerns like overcrowding or inadequate staffing, as well as provider errors, sometimes mean that patients go home sooner than they should. 

It’s important to note that it’s not unusual for patients to be discharged before they fully recover from an illness, injury, or surgery. Most ailments require additional healing time, and it’s not unusual to go home with lingering pain or other symptoms. 

medical malpractice

However, this doesn’t necessarily constitute premature discharge. For a provider’s actions to be considered medical malpractice, they must breach their duty to meet the standard of care, causing injury and loss. Unless going home caused irreparable harm to you, it isn’t considered malpractice.

Types of Premature Discharge

The idea of premature discharge covers more than simply leaving the hospital sooner than the standard of care dictates. Other actions can constitute premature discharge and support a medical malpractice claim, including failing to schedule necessary follow-up visits, forgetting to confirm that you can care for yourself or have assistance at home, and neglecting to perform all necessary diagnostic tests. 

You can protect yourself from premature discharge by communicating your concerns to the doctor. If the physician fails to act on those concerns and you endure harm, that may help your medical malpractice case.

Proving Medical Malpractice 

In New Mexico, plaintiffs must submit an application to a medical review commission. Based on your medical records and other evidence, they’ll determine whether you can file suit. If you can, you’ll need a medical expert witness to testify that the standard of care was breached, as well as additional supporting evidence. 


If you were discharged from the hospital too soon and suffered harm from it, schedule a consultation with Balderrama Law Firm to review the case. Based in Carlsbad, NM, this law firm assists victims in a wide range of cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, and car accidents, and is committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve. Request a consultation online or by calling (575) 234-1111.


(505) 900-3834


(575) 433-2384


7401 Hancock Ct. NE, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87109


(575) 234-1111


(575) 885-6788


706 N. Canal Street Carlsbad, NM 88220