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Dentist Investigated for Death of Second Child During Procedure

Officers are investigating a dentist, after a 2nd child died while undergoing a procedure under his care.

This child, a 3-year-old boy, was undergoing a routine dental procedure at the dentist’s office. He was under anesthesia, and had been restrained in a pappoose. According to the child’s mother, during the procedure, the boy suddenly went limp, and stopped breathing. His lips became blue, and he was then rushed to hospital. However, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The dentist had been suspended by the Board of Dentistry after the death of a 6-year-old child who also died while in his care. He was placed under probation after the suspension. In that case too, the child had been restrained in a pappoose, and was under local anesthesia during the procedure. That child also stopped breathing during the procedure. However, a medical examiner ruled that the child died due to natural causes, because the child suffered from cerebral palsy and several other medical conditions.

However, the Board of Dentistry investigated the dentist, and filed a complaint against him in 2008. In 2010, an administrative law judge found that he was not guilty of gross negligence, but the dentist was suspended for a period of 3 months in January 2011. He was then placed on an additional 21 months of probation.

Investigators looking at this latest child’s death have not yet arrived at the cause of the death. So far, it seems that the procedure that was being performed on the boy was routine, and that there was no sign that anything was wrong before complications arose. Meanwhile, lawyers for both families who lost children in the dentist’s care are asking that the dentist’s license be revoked.

According to the Mayo Clinic,  when under general anesthesia, you are completely unconscious and unable to feel pain during medical procedures. General anesthesia usually uses a combination of intravenous drugs and inhaled gasses (anesthetics). General anesthesia is more than just being asleep; the anesthetized brain doesn’t respond to pain signals or reflexes. An anesthesiologist is a specially trained doctor who specializes in anesthesia. While you’re unconscious, the anesthesiologist monitors your body’s vital functions and manages your breathing. In many hospitals, an anesthesiologist and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) work together during your procedure. General anesthesia is overall very safe; most people, even those with significant health conditions, are able to undergo general anesthesia itself without serious problems. In fact, the risk of complications is more closely related to the type of procedure you’re undergoing and your general physical health, rather than to the type of anesthesia. However, there are exceptions and these exception must be adequately dealt with by the dental team to ensure patient safety.

Robert J. Fleming is an Atlanta dental malpractice lawyer, representing persons who have been injured due to the negligence of dentists, dental technicians and other dental professionals across the metro Atlanta region. 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.

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