Massachusetts readers may have heard about the little girl whose trip to the dentist turned deadly. Her parents were told she needed four root canals. On Dec. 3, they took her in to have the work done. What happened while the little girl was in the dentist's chair led her parents to file a medical malpractice claim.
In preparation for the work, the 3-year-old girl was given a cocktail of sedatives that included Demerol. Her chart indicates her vitals were documented only three times in the 26 minutes following the administration of the drugs. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry requires that while a patient is sedated, his or her vitals are to be checked and documented no less than every five minutes. Had this procedure been followed, the medical staff may have known the girl was in distress before she went into cardiac arrest.
Reports indicate the staff at the Hawaii dentist's office did not know how to help the little girl and had to obtain assistance from a pediatrician's office down the hall, which caused a delay in the child receiving CPR. A lack of oxygen to her brain caused irreparable brain damage. The young girl passed away just days later.
Every Massachusetts parent would agree that no parent should have to outlive his or her child, let alone watch one die. When a medical or dental professional may have caused such a death through negligence, a medical malpractice claim may be appropriate. A successful claim could help the parents achieve some sense of justice on behalf of a child that will never get to grow up. If negligence is proven, the parents may also be entitled to relief for financial losses sustained and other damages recognized by our laws.
Source: The Huffington Post, Finley Boyle, 3, Dead After Dentist Visit, Parents File Lawsuit, Carla Herreria, Jan. 3, 2014