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Are people sometimes released too early from the hospital?

We place a great deal of trust in our medical professionals, especially if we go to the hospital. You and other Tennessee residents should have confidence that when you are released from your hospital stay, you are ready to go home to finish your recovery.

Unfortunately, many people are not ready to leave the hospital when they are discharged, according to some health advocates. U.S. News & World Report explains that most modern hospital stays are less than a week in length. This can be due to advances in medical care and doctors’ worries that staying too long in the hospital exposes you to serious pathogens. However, some experts claim that one in five people are released from the hospital having at least one vital sign instability, which can be a serious sign that they can be readmitted or even die within a month.

How do you know if you are not ready to go home when your doctor says you are about to be discharged? You may watch for the following signs:

  • Difficulty getting to the restroom or to urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Inability to get in and out of bed on your own
  • Trouble eating and drinking and keeping it down
  • Inability to take your own medication without assistance

Additional warning signs include having new symptoms your doctors have not addressed and not being able to manage your pain. You should be able to talk with your medical staff about your vital sign readings and address fears you may have about leaving the hospital before you are discharged. Ideally, you would have someone else, such as a family member or close friend, with you as your health advocate. This information is not meant to serve as legal advice.

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Johnson City, TN 37601

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