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Teen dies after dental procedure, medical malpractice alleged

Every day in Maryland and elsewhere, countless numbers of people trust doctors and other health professionals with their health and lives. That is a reasonable assumption, as those professionals in the medical community have a sworn duty to provide safe, ethical and accurate medical treatment for their patients. However, that does not always happen and sometimes medical malpractice occurs as a result.

A family has alleged that an oral surgeon's dangerous and negligent actions resulted in the death of an Eden Prairie teen who had undergone a routine procedure to have her wisdom teeth extracted. The  lawsuit was recently filed in a civil court in another state. The suit alleges that the surgeon's missteps led to the death of the girl in June 2015.

The errors alleged include not administering general anesthesia correctly, not providing proper monitoring while the surgery was underway and having improperly trained dental assistants monitoring the patient. It is also asserted that poor planning for a possible medical emergency, lackluster response when the patient went into cardiac arrest and a failure to properly inform the parents regarding the risks associated with general anesthesia contributed to the teen's death.  According to the lawsuit, the procedure on June 9 began at 9 a.m., and the patient's heart rate dropped dramatically around 9:15 a.m. She did not have a pulse while suffering cardiac arrest, and CPR was begun at 9:31 a.m. while a call was placed to 911. Emergency responders worked on the patient for around 20 minutes before taking her to the hospital, where she died as a result of the lack of oxygen to her brain.

Medical malpractice occurs in Maryland when a medical professional fails to meet the acceptable standards of care in his or her area of expertise. Grounds for a civil claim typically exist when two separate requirements are met: the malpractice or negligence was perpetrated by a nurse, doctor, hospital or similar health care provider, and the act directly resulted in the injury, disability or death of the victim. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney is typically consulted to assess the validity of a claim.

Source: startribune.com, "Family of Eden Prairie teen who died after wisdom teeth procedure sues Edina dentist", Paul Walsh, Jan. 29, 2017

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