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Second patient dies under dentist’s care

Feb 17, 2012 | Doctor Errors

When people go to the doctor or dentist in New York for routine procedures, they assume they will leave the office without harm. However, the family of a three-year-old boy is left wondering what went so terribly wrong after the young boy died getting cavities filled.

The incident occurred in nearby Irvington, New Jersey. The boy’s mother took him to the Dental Health Associates to have his cavities fixed. He was given a local anesthetic and was restrained in a papoose or cocoon like apparatus to limit his movements. The boy stopped breathing at some point during the procedure. He was taken to a local hospital, but he later died. Is this medical malpractice or just a terrible tragedy?

The mother of a six-year-old girl who died under the same dentist’s care does not believe the two deaths are a coincidence. Although the young girl had other medical conditions and a medical examiner declared she died of natural causes, the Board of Dentistry filed a complaint against the dentist in 2008.

In 2010, a judge found that the dentist was not negligent, but the board suspended the dentist for three months and put him on probation for 21 months. He was still on probation when the latest death occurred.

The dentist in question is being investigated by the Division of Consumer Affairs, and the attorney general’s office may also be involved if it is determined that criminal charges will be brought against the dentist.

In addition, the families of the two victims may wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the dentist in question if it is determined that he acted negligently and contributed to the deaths of the two young people.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Irvington dentist probed after 2nd child dies in his care," Feb. 15, 2012