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Patient Dies After Falling Off Surgical Table

Medical malpractice lawsuits often involve complex medical errors that would be difficult for any non-professional to sort through. That is why expert medical professionals are often used as witnesses in these cases to help explain what the negligent doctor did compared to what the reasonable doctor would have done in any situation. The nuance and complexity of these cases is an important reason to seek out experienced medical malpractice attorneys, like ours at Levin & Perconti, to help navigate the confusing legal and medical processes. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience developing relationships with experts across the country and understanding what care patients should have received in various medical situations.

However, sometimes a case comes along that is an obvious example of a hospital mistake even to someone with no medical training. Of course, the healthcare provider often refuses to admit the mistake and so victims must still use the legal system to seek some redress for the error.

A particularly troubling example of this gross medical malpractice was discussed last month by KARE 11. Max DeVries was 61-years old when he went into the St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota to undergo what was supposed to be a routine procedure to drain fluid from his back. A few weeks earlier Mr. DeVries had suffered a stroke and had part of his skill removed to reduce brain swelling. The back fluid was a byproduct of the brain swelling.

The beginning preparatory stages of the surgery proceeded as planned. Mr. DeVries was put into a gurney and slowly administered the appropriate anesthesia. However, laying limp in the surgery room, just before doctors were about to begin the process, he was allowed to roll off the bed and hit the hard tile of the floor. As a result of the fall, Mr. DeVries suffered massive bleeding of the head. He went into a coma-like state shortly after and died a month later.

This egregious example of hospital negligence is a prime example of how much patients are forced to depend on medical professionals in these critical surgical times. Mr. DeVries was under total anesthesia, unable to use or protect his body in any way. Hospital failure to ensure his physical safety in that setting is totally inexcusable.