An ex-Marine, who was left severely injured after suffering a stroke that resulted from a botched dental surgery, has reportedly been awarded $17.5 million in damages caused by the alleged negligence.
The Marine, Christopher Ellison, had visited a Veterans Administration Medical Center for dental surgery in 2007. He needed to have at least eight teeth removed. While he was undergoing surgery for the removal of the teeth, his blood pressure began plummeting. However, the dentist did not stop the surgery as he should have.
After the surgery, when Ellison was driving back home, he suffered a stroke. He was driving alone, and was not in any position to rush to the hospital for emergency treatment. As a result of the dental malpractice, he suffered severe brain damage, and now needs twenty-four hour care.
Last week, a federal judge awarded him $17.5 million. According to Assistant U.S. Atty. Thomas Johnson, the verdict will be appealed.
There are risks associated with any kind of dental surgery, and it is the responsibility of the dentist to make sure that the patient is informed about these risks. This is known as “informed consent” and there is no substitute for a written informed consent signed by the dental patient which clearly explains the dental procedure to be performed, all of the known risks associated with the procedure and the alternatives available to the procedure. It’s also the dentist’s responsibility to monitor a patient’s condition during the surgery to avoid complications. For instance, there are restrictions regarding the scheduling of dental surgery when a patient suffers from hypertension or cardiovascular disease. Dental procedures are not recommended for six months after a person has suffered a heart attack. If a person has a history of cardiovascular problems, then there must be oxygen and nitroglycerin available during the dental treatment. Persons who suffer from hypertension must have their blood pressure checked during each dental visit.
It goes without saying that a patient’s health condition must be taken as a factor before any surgery is scheduled at all and, if complications arise during the procedure, the procedure should be stopped until the complications can be properly addressed.
The Atlanta dental malpractice lawyers such as Robert J. Fleming represent victims who have been injured by the negligence of dentists, dental assistants, technicians and other dental care professionals. He has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and suspect it is from dental negligence and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.