The family of a two-year-old Arizona boy who died after a routine dental procedure has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the clinic that performed the work. A detailed article on the case and the allegations behind it is available here.
According to police, the young boy was placed under anesthesia at a local dental clinic. The child later became unresponsive and was rushed to a nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead four days later. The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the boy’s death as “undetermined.”
A Tragic Series of Events
The lawsuit alleges clinic staff silenced an alarm on a device which monitors oxygen saturation and left the boy alone in a recovery room with an oxygen tank that had malfunctioned. The filing also claims that the clinic’s business model is to “maximize the productivity of each clinic by scheduling the young patients back-to-back, resulting in an insufficient amount of time between each child for cleaning of stations, monitoring children who are recovering from various forms of anesthesia, and even allowing time for staff members to use the bathroom facilities.”
A police report provides additional details surrounding the boy’s death. Interviews with the nurse, dentist, anesthesiologist, and the child’s mother indicate that clinic staff performed CPR on the boy before he was taken to the hospital. The boy’s mother told police her son suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Clinic Linked to Second Fatality
According to news sources, the mother of a four-year-old girl has filed a wrongful death complaint against the same clinic after her daughter died following treatment for an abscess in 2016. The allegation states the girl developed a fever after treatment and returned the next day. Staff sent her home, where she died days later. The suit states the clinic failed to comply with the standard of care—including a failure to prescribe antibiotics to address the girl’s symptoms.
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