Many people in New York undergo routine dental procedures. Often, the fact that these procedures are considered “routine” puts patients’ minds at ease. However, even relatively routine procedures come with risks, especially if medical care personnel are not properly trained and do not appropriately monitor a patient for signs of medical distress. For example, a recent lawsuit alleging doctor errors resulted in a $2 million award to the family of a teenager who died after a tooth extraction.
The incident that led to the 17-year-old teenager’s death happened in June 2015. According to reports, the patient was a healthy and active high school student when she underwent the procedure. However, the lawsuit alleges that the dentist performing the surgery made several mistakes, ultimately causing the young girl to stop breathing and resulting in a seizure.
According to the mother in a recent social media post, the dentist failed to take the teenager’s vitals before starting the procedure and did not properly monitor her. Additionally, she claims that he ignored signs that she was in distress, including that her lips were turning blue, in favor of continuing the procedure. In addition to failing to respond to the medical emergency, she argues that he left the patient alone in the room while he waited for an ambulance to arrive. She further argues that many of the items on a crash cart were expired, and he did not know how to use other equipment that could have saved her daughter’s life.
Following the incident, the dentist’s license was temporarily suspended, but it has since been restored; he is now working as a teacher at a dentistry school where he is also treating patients. The young victim’s mother claims that the lawsuit was about justice for her daughter. Unfortunately, doctor errors — including failing to monitor or respond to a patient who has stopped breathing — can quickly lead to brain damage that will have lasting, sometimes fatal ramifications. For many victims in New York, including surviving family members, the only hope for justice is often through the civil court system.
Source: startribune.com, “Mother grieves in candid post about daughter’s deadly seizure in dentist’s Edina office“, Paul Walsh, Dec. 8, 2017