Pediatric medicine is a specialty field because young patients typically respond to treatments and medications differently than adults. In fact, countless medical professionals and physicians in New York County, New York, and around the country spend years learning how to properly diagnose and treat children. A young dental patient that sadly died recently may have sustained irreparable brain damage as a result of medical negligence on the part of her dentist.
The three-year-old girl at the heart of the case was allegedly treated by a Hawaii dentist with a practice in pediatric dentistry. The child was diagnosed as needing several root canals and fillings in the fall of 2013. During the visit to perform the root canals, the young girl’s parents claim that she was left unattended for almost half an hour after being sedated. The parents accuse the dentist and the dentistry office of making medication and anesthesia errors that directly resulted in the young patient going into cardiac arrest. Furthermore, such medical errors are alleged to have caused the child to sustain severe brain damage.
According to MRI scans later performed on the child by a pediatric neurologist, she was in a persistent vegetative state caused by brain damage. After the diagnosis, the three-year-old patient was transitioned into hospice care. Tragically, the child died almost a month after undergoing the dental procedure.
While the dentist involved in the incident hadn’t yet commented on the case, the practice was allegedly closed down. The parents of the child victim have filed a lawsuit against the dentist and dental office in Hawaii, accusing the defendants of dangerous and negligence conduct. They argue that no medical precautions were in place to address emergencies such as the one experienced by their daughter.
Source: CNN, “Hawaii girl, 3, dies after dental procedure,” Khushbu Shah, Jan. 4, 2014