Saturday, August 21, 2010

4 Year Old Tulsa Child Dead After Sedation At Pediatric Dental Group, Tulsa, Oklahoma – Charles Keithline, DDS! 4 Dead Children In 4 Months!

Is anyone paying attention to this issue. 
I'm thinking no. 
I hope someone takes this up and does NOT leave it to the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry,  they let citizens down every day!  Dental Boards fall far short on protecting the citizens of Oklahoma, but it's not just Oklahoma!

Dr. Charles Russell Keithline III's dental licenses ( # 3942) shows he has been disciplined before!  Why is that not in the report?  Call the  Board of Dentistry (405) 524-9037 for more information.

Here is what I found:

Dr. Charles Keithline # 3942
practiced dentistry in an incompetent and/or negligent manner.
6 month suspension  and 5 yrs. probation. 
(I'm told it was due to drug addiction, but can not verify)

This death happened on August 14, 2010.  The earliest reports I can find are from yesterday, August 20, 2010, and  only from one source.  Why?


Tulsa, OK
By KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Published: 8/20/2010  11:00 PM
Last Modified: 8/20/2010  11:00 PM
The Tulsa Police Department and the Oklahoma Dentistry Board are investigating the death of a 4-year-old girl who had been put under sedation for a dental procedure at a Tulsa pediatric dental clinic.
Akasmse Rose Tecumseh of Morris died Aug. 14 after leaving Pediatric Dental Group, 602 S. Utica Ave.

“I can tell you we are working constantly on this,” said Linda Campbell, executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. “We are working on the timeline.”
She said investigators have been at the clinic going through records this week to find out how long the sedative was administered and whether proper protocol was followed.
Campbell said the Tulsa Police Department is working with the board’s investigators on the case.
“Certainly one death is too many, but we are looking at this to ensure there is clear and convincing evidence” regarding any potential wrongdoing, she said.
The primary dentist at the clinic is listed on the group’s website as Dr. Charles Keithline, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and a diplomate of the board.
Keithline’s attorney, Keith Sweet of Oklahoma City, said the dentist could not comment about the patient, citing patient privacy laws. Campbell said an associate of Keithline’s performed the procedure.
Only seven people in Oklahoma are known to have died after being sedated at a dentist’s office, she said. Many were ruled natural deaths after investigations because the patients were found to have had pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease or asthma.

Before Akasmse’s death, the last death linked to sedation at a dental office was that of a 6-year-old boy in Muskogee six years ago, Campbell said.

In that case, the investigation found that a pharmacy erred by providing the patient a lethal dose of methadone instead of the prescribed sedative, she said. The dentist was exonerated.
According to the American Dental Association, the use of sedation and general anesthesia has been an integral part of dental practice since the 1840s.

If properly administered by trained personnel, sedation and general anesthesia are safe and effective, allowing millions of people access to comprehensive dental care who otherwise would not get it, the ADA says.

The ADA sets guidelines for the industry regarding the use of sedation and offers continuing education on proper monitoring and airway management during the use of general anesthesia.
Officials with the Oklahoma Dental Association would not comment.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

The child was having some restorations done and crowns put on her deciduous teeth, according to Linda Campbell, executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry.

Update Sept. 2, 2010

One story coming from the community is that Dr. Charles Keithline is charging the child's stepmother with causing the death of this child.  He is saying she left his office and drove the child around in a hot car for three house.  Of course Dr. Charles Keithline isn't planning on taking any responsibility. 
Just because a child has an underlying medical condition does NOT mean the child died of "Natural Causes" and the dentist is off the hook.

It's clear this is what has happened as the article mentions the number of deaths in Oklahoma and all were ruled "natural deaths" because of other health issues. How in the hell does this let the dentist off the hook?

And screw the AAPD or ADA guidelines and comments.  Remember they are the ones who sent out the "talking points" memo after deaths earlier this year to cover their (and their colleagues) asses!

I'm having big issues with this DOCS (Dental Organization For Conscious Sedation) Company, based in Seattle who delivering these "drive-thru" classes for dentists.  They advertise and have testimonials from dentists who talk about how offering Conscious Sedation is another tool to increase their profits! 

Related Articles:

Five Year Old David Liddell Death July 12, 2010

Deaths In Dental Chair On The Rise