Published on:

Parents of Teen Who Died during Oral Surgery File Dental Negligence Lawsuit

The parents of a 17-year-old girl, who died while she was undergoing oral surgery, have filed a lawsuit against the oral surgeon and anesthesiologist involved in the procedure.

The death occurred in March this year, when the 17-year-old patient visited the dentist’s office for oral surgery. According to the report by the chief medical examiner, she was first given a standard dose of anesthesia. However, the dose was insufficient to get her completely sedated. She was then administered an additional dose of anesthesia. This was also part of standard procedure.

However, when the procedure was underway, she began to experience bradycardia, a slowing down of her heart rhythm. This was followed by a drop in the oxygen saturation in her blood. She went into hypoxic arrest, and at this point, the doctors called in emergency personnel. The teen-aged patient was then rushed to the hospital, where she was in a coma for a few days before finally dying.

According to the autopsy report, she suffered acute hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy from oxygen deprivation, and a brain edema. The chief medical examiner’s report cites hypoxia or oxygen deprivation that occurred during the anesthesia as the cause of death.

Her parents have now filed a lawsuit against the dentist and the anesthesiologist. According to the lawsuit, as a result of the failures of anesthesiologist and the dentist, the girl did not have a pulse when emergency personnel arrived at the scene. The lawsuit also claims that the 2 doctors were directly responsible for the massive brain injury that she suffered and her subsequent death.

According to WebMD, People receiving anesthesia must be carefully watched, because the medicines used for anesthesia affect the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system (airway and lungs). Anesthesia suppresses many of the body’s normal automatic functions. So it may significantly affect your breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, and other body functions. Other monitoring may include:

  • An inflatable blood pressure cuff. This is usually strapped around your upper arm.
  • A pulse oximeter, a small instrument that is attached to your finger, toe, or earlobe to measure the level of oxygen in your blood.
  • An electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) to monitor your heart activity. Small wires (leads) are placed on the skin of your chest and held in place by small adhesive patches.
  • A temperature probe. A monitor connected to your skin by a lead held in place by a small round adhesive patch may be used to measure skin temperature. A thermometer that is attached to a small tube inserted through the mouth into the esophagus after you are unconscious may be used to measure internal body temperature.
  • An oxygen analyzer and carbon dioxide analyzer on the anesthesia machine. These instruments measure the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide gases inhaled and exhaled in your breath.

Robert J. Fleming is an Atlanta dental malpractice lawyer who represents victims of dental negligence in Atlanta and across Georgia. Attorney Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits 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 in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, 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 would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.