This came up in our game this past week.

A character is reduced to negative hit points and is dying. Our Psion uses a conjuration to stabilize the dying character on that character's turn.

I understand that a stabilized character is no longer required to make death saving throws. My question is, on their turn can the character make the saving throw in order to try to get to 20 and spend a healing surge?

If this is possible I assume it would not count towards the number of failed saving throws (sort of like being granted a save out of turn).


2 Answers 2



Assuming the power used was Summon Thought Servant DDI, it works exactly like a Heal check.

Opportunity Action: Triggered when a dying ally adjacent to the servant starts its turn; targets the triggering ally; the servant makes a Heal check to stabilize the target or to allow the target to use his or her second wind

In a Heal check, the subject is told to stop making death saving throws. There is no option to willingly make them. In addition, the subject is still likely unconscious and cannot take any actions.

Stabilize the Dying (DC 15): If the subject is dying, the subject stops making death saving throws until it takes damage. Being stabilized does not change the subject’s current hit point total.

Note that there is no stabilized condition and being stabilized does not remove the Dying condition. The character is no longer required to make Death Saving Throws.

This means that a stabilized character is still a valid target for effects like Energizing Strike DDI and Get Up! DDI

The Dying condition is removed from the character only when the character regains hit points. Being stabilized is not enough.


You make death saving throws only when you are dying; that is, when you have the dying condition.

Once stabilized, you effectively no longer have the dying condition; it's been replaced with the stabilized condition.

General principle: you only make rolls when called for by the rules. If you can act, you might be able to trigger some roll, but stabilized characters are, like dying characters, unable to act. If someone has an ability which grants some roll, and uses it, then the roll gets made.


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