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Malpractice Lawsuit Filed After Death from Fall Off Operating Table

A medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed against a Minnesota hospital that allegedly allowed a patient undergoing surgery to fall off of the operating table. 

The lawsuit, filed by Shawn DeVries, says that St. Joseph’s Hospital of St. Paul failed to provide adequate care for Max DeVries, his father. Max DeVries, 61, rolled off the operating table on May 8 while undergoing a lumbar drain following a stroke in February. Part of his skull had been removed, and he hit the exposed part of his brain on the floor.

The hospital performed additional surgeries on DeVries to correct the damage caused by the fall, but DeVries never recovered from the incident and died of a massive stroke in April. His family says that the hospital failed to use proper safeguards to prevent the operating room fall.

DeVries was about 5’5” tall and weighed about 300 pounds. The lawsuit claims that the table’s Velcro straps failed to hold DeVries down. According to the claim, St. Joseph’s Hospital did not have the appropriate operating table or restraints to handle DeVries, which the lawsuit describes as being well within the weight parameters of many of the patients the hospital would have to deal with, especially among stroke victims who are often overweight.

According to a local news report by KARE 11 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the incident is currently under review by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Health Facilities, but that is standard procedure and there has been no announcement as to whether there will be an investigation into the incident.

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