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4-year-old dies following dental procedure

Arizona parents may be interested to learn that, on March 14, it was reported that a 4-year-old child died following what was thought to be a routine dental procedure. The dental practice that completed the procedure specialized in working with children who had developmental issues.

The report noted that the child, who was on the autism spectrum, had trouble keeping his mouth open during dental appointments, making it difficult for the dentists to see what they were doing. As such, the child was given a shot of Ketamine by a board-certified anesthesiologist. It appeared that the child was given an extra dose to prevent him from waking up in the middle of the procedure. The anesthetic was given to sedate the child so that the dentists could do what they needed to do.

Following the procedure, staff began to administer CPR before taking him to another hospital. He was declared dead, though a toxicology report was not available at the time the report was released. The practice did not comment on the situation.

If a careless practitioner makes a mistake, it could have a major impact on the patient's health. If the patient suffers a worsened condition or dies as a result, the patient or the patient's family members may have the ability to file a medical malpractice claim against the medical staff involved in the procedure. An attorney may assist with getting evidence together that provides proof of malpractice, including expert witness testimony. In the majority of cases, the practice and the staff involved in the botched procedure may offer a settlement that covers the damages. If the settlement that is offered is not sufficient, the attorney may negotiate or take the case to trial.

Source: FOX News, "Autistic boy dies after routine dental procedure, report says", March 14, 2017

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