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California family loses son after dentist's medical malpractice

A visit to the dentist is a routine medical activity for many people. Unfortunately for one California family, however, a trip to the dentist resulted in the tragic death of their six year-old son. The family of the deceased child has now sued the dentist for medical malpractice.

The family took their young son to an oral surgeon for treatment, where general anesthesia was administered in order to remove a tooth in the kindergartener's mouth that was growing in the wrong place. According to the boy's father, the general anesthesia was administered because it would be necessary to cut into a bone on the roof of the child's mouth.

According to his family, the boy died due to the anesthesia. After administration, he was not able to breathe and went into cardiac arrest. The oral surgeon responsible for administration of the anesthesia has been accused by the California Dental Board's executive officer of "gross negligence" in his handling of the boy's care. Furthermore, according to the Dental Board, the doctor demonstrated "repeated acts of negligence" and incompetence. A case to revoke the doctor's license is pending, but, meanwhile, the doctor denies negligence and continues to practice.

Interestingly, no other medical professionals are permitted to both administer anesthesia and perform surgery. In hospitals, different medical professionals must perform these duties. The family is now hoping that a pending new law, which would require one medical provider to administer anesthesia and one provider to operate, will prevent the type of tragedy they experienced from happening to another family.

The alleged mistakes of this dentist led to an unbearably tragic ending for one California family. Sadly, this type of doctor negligence happens across all medical fields. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may wish to seek legal counsel to learn more about the legal options available to assist in seeking compensation for damages suffered.

Source:, "A child's death and the power of the dental lobby," Laurel Rosenhall, April 16, 2016

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