Everyone who has undergone a medical procedure, even a procedure that is relatively minor, typically must sign certain disclosures about risks. While medical professionals make it clear that there is almost always the potential for unintended consequences, few people in Maryland expect that a routine procedure could lead to death. Unfortunately, the death of a small child undergoing what her parents likely believed to be a relatively routine dental procedure resulted in her death and a medical malpractice suit.
One woman claims that she took her 3-year-old daughter to the dentist for the first time in November. She was told that the little girl had several cavities that would require multiple root canals. The procedures would require that the girl be sedated and numbed.
The girl's parents claim that the child was given a mixture of drugs to start the procedure in early December. Soon after the drugs were administered, the girl went into cardiac arrest, allegedly because she was given an overdose of each drug, many of which were not needed. They further claim that the dentist performing the procedures did not know how to administer CPR and did not attempt to do so. Instead, she left the room in search of a pediatrician.
Unfortunately, the lack of oxygen caused severe brain damage. While she was able to breathe without medical assistance, the young child required a feeding tube. After several weeks in hospice care, the family made the difficult decision to remove the feeding tube. She passed away in early January.
The death of a child is every parent's worst nightmare. The knowledge that such a tragedy could have likely been prevented makes such a loss completely senseless. While nothing will ease the parents' grief, they are attempting to hold the dentist and the practice accountable for their alleged negligence by filing a civil suit. People in Maryland who feel they have suffered from a medical professional's negligence or other examples of wrongful conduct also have the right to seek legal recourse by filing a medical malpractice suit. In cases where medical negligence is documented, the court may award damages as a result of any financial losses sustained.
Source: ABC News, Girl, 3, Dies Following Brain Damage During Dental Procedure Says Lawyer, Sydney Lupkin, Jan. 4, 2014