Jury Awards $225K To Family In Fatal Pre-Op Fall

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A jury has awarded $225,000 to the family of a man who died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul.

Max DeVries, 61, of St. Paul, was sedated at the hospital in March when he rolled off an operating table.

He ended up falling on the side of his head where part of his skull had previously been removed to help him recover from a stroke. He went into a coma and died after being removed from life support.

Despite the settlement, St. Joseph’s maintains its staff did nothing wrong.

St. Joseph’s issued a statement saying medical evidence proved there was no relationship between the fall and the man’s death.

  • priorities, priorities

    A hospital boo boo costs a man his life and a jury decides he was only worth $225K? Yet the gov’t spent $500K for each of the 3 moronic hikers who were spying in a hostile country and they’re alive and here bad-mouthing the country they choose to call “home.”

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  • Real Talk

    Mmmmm….nice spin St. Joes.

    By your logic…a sedated man rolled off your operating room table and fell to the ground…..yet you did nothing wrong. So all your operating room patients can expect that they may or may not roll off the effin table?? Well if you did nothing wrong, this obviously wasnt preventable and will happen again at your facility.

    Who the hell is your general council? What a joke. I’d saw off my own arm before i’ll let St. Joes touch me!!!

    • em1022

      This story is enraging to say the least; they are not even owning any part in this man’s death when they basically killed him!! I think the amount settled is a disgrace as well… I am not sure how they are not able to see the relation between the injury and his cause of death…and these people are Doctors???

  • I'm Just Sayin'

    You all are so far off base this is rediculous. Ther eis not enough facts here to even start typing. How does a sedated man roll off of an operating table? Are we supposed to restrain all sedated patients now and drive up the cost of health care all the more? If the hospital proved that his death was not a result of the fall, then why did the hospital pay? Waht ultimately caused his death if not the fall? Part of his skull was previously removed due to a stroke, thus he was in bad health already, is the stroke not the root cause of his death, him not taking care of himself to start out with? I am saddened for the family, but the 225K is not going to bring dad and grampa back and all of us are now saddled with higher healthcare costs.

    • @ Just Sayin'

      The only thing ‘rediculous’ is your spelling and grammar. Do you not own spell check, or are you just too ignorant to use it? Your logic is completely wrong, as are your assumptions and conclusions. You should be wiped from the gene pool.

      • I'm Just Sayin'

        Let me know when you want to meet and try to arrange that, more than glad to help you go meet the fine folks at St. Joe’s.

    • Real Talk

      You are a moron….i’m just sayin.

      Are your questions pointless? Yes. Do you have any basis for your ramblings? No.

      The fact remains a patient in their care fell off the table while he was sedated. Who do you think is responsible? The sedated guy? Whether it lead to his death or not…only the medical facts can speak to that.

      The big deal is that St. Joes doesnt have a procedure in place to prevent this from happening…..while apprently the other hospital do (i know this because i dont read about patients at other hospitals falling off tables while sedated.)

      And you dont know the first thing about health care cost if you think observing and limiting patients movements while sedated is significant cost driver for that business. Grow up Peter Pan and leave the keyboard alone you goober.

      • I'm Just Sayin'

        attack the messenger if you do not like the message, it makes your point and you so much bigger the person. Medical facts spoke, the fall did not kill the patient. You “KNOW” because you can see every sedated patient and know that hospitals have nurses there to coddle and or restrain every sedated patient? Wow, with your god like powers why do we still have war, hunger, and cancer?

  • hum

    The staff may have done nothing “wrong” but it did not do the “right” thing either.

  • Marie

    Perhaps the fall was not the cause of the patient’s death, but it surely must be at least a contributing factor. The patient was a morbidly obese man, and, as much as many would want to disagree, the obesity comlicates the delivery of care. As much as there is now a lot of equipment to care for the obese, it’s still more difficult to care for such people.
    Let me give an example, An morbidly obese has a cardiac arrest and she doesn’t want to die, so she’s a full code. So we need to co compressions, simple? Not really, when she is in bed, her body spreads rail to rail to the extra big hospital bed (about the size of a full size bed).
    Just exactly how is someone suppose to do compressions? Am I suppose to climb on top her her? Someone may say yes, but think about it, with that mass of body, I would be completely unable to remain stable on top of her. Effective compressions simply would be impossible in this case. So is that the HCW’s fault? No, it would not be.
    People need to realize that just because obesity has become ‘normal’, doesn’t mean that everything must or can be made to accomandate it. So the cause of the death is likely related to obesity (both because of the difficulty providing care, and because the obesity probably contributed to the stroke in the first place) and the fall didn’t help.

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