Showing posts with label Deaths In The Dental Chair Can Be Prevent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deaths In The Dental Chair Can Be Prevent. Show all posts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

CBS Atlanta Exclusive - Three Georgia boys die unexpectedly after dental procedure


CBS Atlanta News is breaking an exclusive investigation into what caused three Georgia boys to lose their lives following what should have been routine medical procedures.

All three boys, ages 14 to 21, died within a month of each other in a string of tragic and bizarre deaths. They all had their wisdom teeth extracted 16 to 72 hours before they died.

"You take your kids to doctors and dentists, and you don't expect this. You don't expect to lose them," said Bobbie Ellis, the father of Ben Ellis, one of the victims.

The grieving families are speaking out for the first time, only to CBS Atlanta Chief Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman.  They're sharing their emotional stories as a warning to other parents.

"He was the baby, I miss him terribly," Karan Ellis said about the loss of Ben.

The pain is still extremely raw for the Bobbie and Karan Ellis and the other families, who all lost their sons just four months ago.

"A family should be informed that there is a possibility that your child may not wake up," Lisa Robinson said.

The Robinsons and the Ellis family agreed to speak with CBS Atlanta News to warn others of the dangers they say they were never told about.

"You don't want to go through what we've went through. There are too many kids dying out there. Something needs to be done," Bobbie Ellis said.

The Ellis' son was just 14 years old when they say their oral surgeon recommended that he have all four of his wisdom teeth removed.

"That's my baby, and his beautiful smile" Karan Ellis said.  "That's all I've got now is his pictures."

"We have pictures, but we don't have our son," Bobbie Ellis cried.

Ben's wisdom teeth were removed on Dec. 7, 2011.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Scary–On the one year anniversary of Jenny Olenick’s death, anesthesia dentistry is on the rise.

On the one year anniversary of Jenny Olenick’s death, Medscape posted, what I refer to as “Anesthesia Media Blitz II”. Since early March, the AAPD and other associations have released various press releases promoting putting children to sleep to perform dental procedures. The Medscape article is the second round. Medscape could have posted a story on the hazards of such practices, but didn’t. I’m not saying it was on purposely, however, I’ve learned seldom are stories published without reason.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



April 6, 2012 — Pediatric dentists cannot find enough dentist anesthesiologists to meet the needs of their patients, according to a survey of pediatric dentists published in the spring 2012 issue of Anesthesia Progress.

The survey responses differed somewhat by region, sex, and years in the specialty, with 20% to 40% of participants saying they currently use a dental anesthesiologist and 60% to 70% saying they would use one if one were available.

The demand for dentist anesthesiologists has been increasing in recent years in pediatric dentistry, according to a separate survey of dental anesthesiology program directors published in the same journal.

"The trend in the past has been that many dentists provided [both] anesthesia and dental care," coauthor James Jones, DDS, chair of pediatric dentistry at Indiana University in Indianapolis, told Medscape Medical News.

Now, many pediatric dentists would prefer to concentrate on the dentistry while someone else focuses on anesthesia, he said. "We're realizing that it's a safety issue."

Dr. Jones said researchers at the university had become aware of the need for anesthesia in their patients because they provide service to a lot of low-income patients who need extensive dental work of the type that often requires general anesthesia.

To see what other pedodontists were experiencing, they sent out emails to all 2586 active board-certified pediatric dentists who are members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and who made their email addresses available, asking them to participate in an online survey.

The messages bounced back from 659 of these, leaving 1927, of whom 494 completed the survey.

Participants disclosed their sex, age, years in practice, region, number of years as a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, use of in-office sedation, and use of intravenous (IV) sedation. They also commented on their use of a dentist anesthesiologist.

The respondents differed in their use of anesthesiology by demographics. Thirty-nine percent of women answered "yes" to the question, "Do you use the services of a dentist anesthesiologist?" compared with 23% of men, which is a statistically significant difference (P < .01).

Only 12% of those in practice for longer than 21 years used IV sedation in their office, and only 25% of this group used dentist anesthesiologists (P < .01). Although only 53% of this group answered "yes" to the question, "Would you use the services of a dentist anesthesiologist, if available?" this percentage was not statistically significant compared with dentists who have been in practice for fewer years.

In contrast, 30% of those in practice for 5 years or fewer used in-office IV sedation, 38% used dentist anesthesiologists, and 74% would use dentist anesthesiologists if they could (P < .01).

Group practices were least likely to administer in-office sedation; solo practices were the most likely.

Practices in the Southwest were most likely to use in-office sedation. Westerners were most likely to administer in-office IV, employ dentist anesthesiologists, and use dentist anesthesiologists if they could.

Dental Anesthesiologists Address Many Needs

Dr. Jones said the finding points to a need for more training programs for dentist anesthesiologists. "I think the demand is going to increase over time," he said.

He pointed out that bringing an anesthesiologist into the office is half as expensive as taking the patient to a hospital or day-surgery center for anesthesia.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Spokesman John Liu, DDS, agreed, noting that hospitals and surgery centers charge for the use of their facilities.

Dr. Liu, a clinical assistant professor of dentistry at the University of Washington in Seattle, told Medscape Medical News that pediatric dentists are in greater need of help from dentist anesthesiologists for several reasons.

First, more children are being diagnosed with behavior-related conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorder, he said.

Second, fewer parents are comfortable with having their children physically restrained through frightening and sometimes painful treatments. "The reality is that it's not an easy thing to sit through something like that," Dr. Liu, who has a private practice in Issaquah, Washington, told Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Liu also said that some state dental boards prohibit dentists from providing general anesthesia or deep sedation, even if they have completed residency programs in anesthesiology, and he thinks these regulations should be changed.

"I find it tremendously helpful to have a dental anesthesiologist, as opposed to an MD anesthesiologist, because he knows exactly what I'm doing and when I'm going to be done," said Dr. Liu. "I have used a dental anesthesiologist for more than 20 years, and I don't know how anybody manages without one."

Dr. Liu and Dr. Jones have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Anesth Prog. 2012;59:12-17. Full text

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another “sedation propaganda” piece for the American consumer.

My questions, who is pushing these stories.  A hospital?  Some association or organization? Someone is, you can bet on that.  Only common thread between this one and the one last week in the NYT is – Janine Costantini.  If I had time tonight, I’d rip this thing from stem to stern…  Grrrr

Tiny Mouths Found Filled With Rotting Teeth - Staying Healthy News Story - KMGH Denver

AURORA, Colo. -- The operating rooms at Children's Hospital Colorado are packed with preschool kids needing dental procedures.

"We're booked five months out in the OR, and that's three days a week, two rooms a day. And it just keep increasing," said Janine Costantini, ambulatory practice director at Children’s Hospital Colorado. "The more we do the more we need."

The hospital staff is seeing more tiny mouths riddled with big dental problems.

“There were over 3,000 OR visits last year just for pediatric dentistry,” said Costantini.

7NEWS was there when a 4-year old boy went under anesthesia for treatment.

Out of 20 baby teeth we’re treating 16,” said Children’s Hospital Colorado Pediatric Dentist, Mark Koch.

The pediatric dentistry team at Children's Hospital Colorado mapped out the boy's treatment including extractions, baby root canals and crowns.

“His mouth is in very bad shape. This is not unusual. This is the fourth case today, in this room,” said Pediatric dentist, Mark Koch.

The boy ended up on the operating table for treatment nine months after pediatric dentistry staff recommended treatment.

“It is a very safe and comfortable treatment, but it is very expensive. That is the problem," said Ulrich Klein, DMD, DDS, MS Chair of the Pediatric Dentistry program at Children's Hospital Colorado.

The average cost of treatment is $3,000.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall–Board of Dentistry is holding an open meeting today concerning a rule change requiring training in the 6 Links to Survival

March 9, 2012
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website

First I want to say that I understand “good” reasons when someone opposes something. There are always two sides and views to everything. It’s the lame and idiotic excuses that gall me to no end.

Today is the 5 year anniversary of Raven Maria Blanco’s death. Raven died because a dental office was not prepared for a medical emergency. 19 children have died in the last five years from ill-prepared dentists and staff, when 6 common sense steps could have made the difference.

Comments from the public closed on February 19, 2012.  Below is a sample of those who sent comments opposing the rule change. 

These are copied and pasted as they were posted on the regulatory agency website. My comments are in [italics and brackets]


Commenter: Watchdog for Coalitions Against The Dental Profession (CADP)

Be Cautious! Don't be Fooled, Don't play into the empathy game!

This Raven Blanco Foundation may be a plublicity stunt to raise funds, that support their self created non profit slary jobs. Everything about their web site is very exploitive. They list no financial discloures, no board of directors/advisors. They are certainly following the guide for creating an issue that will bring them money and influence, and as they say power. And like all these nonprofits, they appeal to ones suffering to gain support.  They can be dangerous, just like all of our local dental nonprofits, run by non dentist, unlisenced advocates if you will, who want to be policy makers over dental matters of which they are trully ignorant. I would question the credibility and intentions of this group. Leave the emotional baggage out of any descision making. Dont treat victims as equals, they are not!

[ Apparently the group has problems with “unlicensed” citizens advocating for change in events that directly affect them. This is confusing to me. Who else would advocate for change? Those unaffected?  Financial “disclosures” are available online and Mr. Blanco, President and his Executive Director who puts in about 50 hours a week draw ZERO dollars from the foundation!  ZERO!  Rather, Mr. Blanco gave a large some to the foundation! Yes, I would question the intention of this group as well, since you will be amazed at what you find. You’ll also find out what wonderful people they are and how much they help other parents whose children are killed by ill-prepared dentists who are sedating children. They assist with emotional support, and financial support.  Helping families with funeral expenses or organize fundraising.They travel to every dental convention they possible can and promote safety in sedation dentistry. How can anyone be faulted for promoting safe sedation of children? The spokesperson for this group sounds as though they know the Blanco’s, are locals and have an ax to grind.]

Commenter: Dr. E. Thomas Elstner, Jr.

Training for medical emergencies

There should be provisions for practitioners who do not administer local anesthetics in their office setting.  Currently there is no ACLS focusing on the dental setting.

[if this person is referring to Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), then with 8 deaths in the last 12 months, maybe ACLS should be focused on the dental setting.  Think?]

Commenter: Dr. Paul W. Callahan

Another costly regulation that does nothing to help public welfare

It is the responsibility of ALL Virginia Regulatory Boards to protect the public.  Any death is is one too many, but statistically it is probably safer to go to the dentist that cross the street.   These proposed regulations are already the Standard of Care in most offices.  A regulation such as this would cost hundreds of thusands of dollars for most practicioners to follow; meaning the time spent documenting training, paying for training for a large staff when not everyone needs to be trained at the same level, etc.  So who pays for all this unnecessary documentation and training?   The average Virginia resident in the form of increased dental fees.   Is this what we want for our patients?

[This is just a wild guess, but I doubt your patients would mind a slight increase in your fee to know you were prepared to save their life if an emergency arose.]

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Guardian Angel "Raven's Song" has gone viral

The song was produced in honor of Raven Maria Blanco who died because of an ill-prepared dentist and staff sedating children in his office – Dr. Michael Hechtkopf.

The five year anniversary of Raven's death is Friday, March 9th 2012. The video has received nearly 400,000 hits in the last few days.  You can purchase the song on itunes.  Proceeds go to purchase AED's-Automatic External Defibrillators which are donated to dental offices across the county. Put there to save a child!  Please consider purchasing Raven's Song.

This week major news outlets have all but promoted sedation dentistry for children. Not a word was mentioned about the 19 deaths of children due to sedation complications that has taken place since Raven’s death 5 years ago.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Virginia Dental Board to consider stricter medical emergency rules thanks to a petition by the Raven Marie Blanco Foundation

Raven Marie Blanco died during dental treatment on March 9, 2007.  Since that time her family created a foundation that advocates much stricter guideline for medical emergency readiness.  Virginia has no requirements other than basic CPR, but dentists regularly sedate children for dental treatment.

March 9, 2012 will be the 5 year anniversary of Raven’s death and on that day, the Virginia dental board will present the petition to its members to enlist comments for or against the petition.

The petition asks that the Six Links of Survival developed in 2003 by the Institute of Medical Emergency Preparedness become part of the license renewal process for Virginia dentists.

You can email the dental board your comments at:

The Six Links to Survival are:

  1. Dentist's training
  2. Staff training
  3. Mock drills
  4. Maintaining a written emergency plan
  5. Stocking appropriate medications
  6. Maintaining appropriate equipment

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The deaths at the dentist office we don’t hear about

This was posted on a dental forum/message board back in April 2011:


A friend of mine is an associate for a dental office. There are two doctors working that day, he and the other doctor ( i will call her Sue). Dr. Sue attempted to perform a surgical extraction #17 on the patient. The patient is 39 yr old male. After spending some time unsuccessfully trying to remove tooth, Dr. Sue decided to stop and refer to OS. Pt. was dismissed from the chair, and walked to front desk to reappoint with OS. Pt. complained of dizziness shortly after. He went to use he restroom. Dr. Sue didn't want to enter the restroom so she asked my doctor riend to check on him. He went and checked blood pressure of patient. Pt. had bp 250/110 and called paramedic.  Without going further into detail, Pt. was taken by paramedic. My friend doctor found out later the pt. had hx hypertension and didn't take his bp meds that day. Also, my friend found out only later that night pt also fell while trying to use restroom.  Pt. had surgery for something in his head (no specific details given) in ER and went into coma. Apparently he never came out and passed away a month later. My friend said Dr. Sue never checked her pt. med hx prior to procedure. No blood pressure was taken either prior to work and no consent forms were signed for extraction procedure. Dr. Sue did state in her notes that she administered local anesthetic with epinephrine and she stated same to paramedic upon questioning by them. My friend was the one who took the pt. blood pressure and called 911, helped get Oxygen for pt and stayed with patient. Dr. Sue was working on another pt the whole time and didn't come out until paramedic came. It seemed she defer all responsibility to my friend when it was her patient. What type of legal repercussions will this have on Dr. Sue or my friend doctor. I know he was not the treating doctor but since this is involved a pt. death what is going to happen legally here for everyone? The owner of the dental office is neither Dr. Sue or my friend. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fox News report on Jenny Olenick’s parents suing dentist after her death. Jenny died in 2011


There have been 24 pediatric deaths related to complications due to dental procedures in the past seven years. This number accounts only for reported pediatric deaths. Shockingly, of the 24 pediatric deaths occurring within the seven year period, 11 have been within the last 21 months. 52% of the deaths have occurred since April of 2010! What once may have been viewed as a rarity has clearly become an epidemic. Wake-up Dr. Milton Houpt!

If you add the adult deaths, the numbers skyrocket.  If we knew the exact number of pediatric deaths and adult deaths I think everyone would be is shock!  Many are unreported as taking place during dental procedures.  Just last week I heard from a person whose friend’s husband had died in Florida just a few months ago during a dental procedure. She said the man had been dead for 15 minutes before the dental assistant brought it to his attention.  This never saw the pages of a news paper or a spot on the evening news.  There are hundreds more of these same kind of stories.  Mr. Milton Houpt ,the ADA and the AAPD do NOT want the true numbers told, it’s a $3 billion dollar a year industry!

Here is a memo sent out by the AAPD after the death of Jacobi Hill in Richmond, Virginia in 2010.

Nor does the DOCS Education program; a drive thru; weekend; three day seminar to teach dentist the fine art of sedation.  Used to help general dentists increase services and revenue streams.  A very dangerous one at that!

Someone has suggested it’s only a coincidence that the major dental agencies that set the standards and shape state rules and regulations are all located at the same address in Chicago: 211 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

American Dental Association

Academy of General Dentistry

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

American Student Dental Association

American College of Prosthodontists

American Association of Endodontists

and…drum roll please…..

The American Association of Dental Boards

Just a coincidence? 
The ADA owns the building and simply leases it to other organizations, no conspiracy? 

I say Hogwash!!

The Raven Maria Blanco Foundation helps parents whose children have died during dental treatment

The Raven Maria Blanco Foundation (RMBF)was established after 8 year old Raven Blanco died during sedation dentistry. The foundation is committed to educating parents and professional of the risks that lead to these deaths as well as safety measures that can easily be taken to reduce such risks. The Raven Maria Blanco Foundation travels as funds will allow to dental conventions across the nation where they set up their booth to promote safety and educated the dental community. They are not always met with open arms.  Here is a public service announcement from 2010

Here are the names of 39 children who have died in recent years.
I met with Nicole, Raven’s cousin and Director of the RMBF, and Mario, Raven’s father, and have to say they are some of the loveliest people you will ever meet. They truly are committed to their cause. Sadly it has been falling on many a deaf ear, but that has not deterred them for one minute. They work tirelessly and are never to busy to help.  I am proud to know such wonderful and selfless people.
The RMBF provides much needed support for parents who have suffered the pain of death of their child. They assist in raising money to help pay for funeral expenses, including traveling to fundraisers when time allows. Other times it’s putting these parents in contact with each other to help each other for support.
The RMBF has a facebook page at

RMBF, Inc.
PO BOX 65581
Virginia Beach, VA 23467
Currently, they RMBF is seeking dontation to assist the family of Jermaine Lee Harrison, Jr who died during a dental procedure in Stockton, California on November 11, 2011.
You can make a donation by clicking here.
RMBF, INC. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mom of 6 year-old, Jacobi Hill, Plans to Sue VCU Medical Center


Mom of 6 year-old Plans to Sue VCU Medical Center - wtvr

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) - The mother of a 6-year-old boy who died after a dental procedure last May says she plans to sue VCU.

"People say it gets easier day by day. No, it doesn't", says Crystal Lewis.
One year later, Lewis, the mother of 6 year-old Jacobi Hill still wonders why a simple dental procedure killed her son.

"It's always going to be a question in the back of my mind like, what happened, but I guess we'll never know until I get to the bottom of things", she says.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jenny Olenick died in April. Here is a statement sent to us from Jenny’s mother on May 14, 2011

"During the April 17 Celebration of Jenny's life I told the young people present not to worry about having dental procedures because Jenny's death was a freak accident.
That's what I truly thought at the time. But after learning there are at least 8 other children in the nation who have died as a result of dental procedures in US dental offices within the past 1 1/2 years, I no longer see this as a "freak" accident.
I now look at dental office-related deaths as relatively common, and believe these are needless deaths that could have been prevented.

These children did not have to die. And if we wish to honor these childrens' memories, we need to make certain not one more child dies as a result of having a procedure done in a dentist's office".
Cathy Garger, Mother of Jenny Olenick.

17 year old Jenny Olenick dead during oral surgery–April 6, 2011–Freak Accident? Not anymore!
(written Thursday May 12, 2011, prior to receiving the statement from Jenny’s mom.  Blogger was down and was not able to post until today.)

Marriottsville, Maryland

Jennifer Michelle Olenick died April 6, 2010. Jenny went into a coma on March 28, 2011 during a wisdom tooth extraction being performed by Dr. Domenick Coletti.

When the dental community is averaging killing one child a month, it’s not a freak accident!
Answers sought in dental surgery death of Howard County teen
Jennifer-Olenick-April-6-2011_thumb2By Kellie Woodhouse
The state Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the death of a 17-year-old Marriotts Ridge High School junior, who died last week after complications arose during routine wisdom tooth surgery.

Jennifer “Jenny” Michelle Olenick, of Woodstock, an aspiring professional singer, went to a Columbia oral surgeon on March 28 for a tooth extraction procedure and went into cardiac arrest during surgery, her mother said.

She was taken by ambulance to Howard County General Hospital and then flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, where she died 10 days later, on April 6.

Cathy Garger, Olenick’s mother, said her daughter’s sudden death was baffling.

“Her heart tests at Hopkins showed normal functioning of her heart. She was in the best of health,” said Garger, who accompanied her daughter to the surgery with Olenick’s father, John Olenick.

Dr. Domenick Coletti, the Columbia-based oral surgeon who performed the operation with the assistance of an anesthesiologist, said he was “deeply saddened” by Olenick’s death.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Another Child Dies At The Hands Of An 80 Year Old Dentist – 13 Year Old Marissa Kingery

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s another very sad day here at Dentist The Menace.  Another child has lost her life due to an incident involving dental treatment at a dentist office

On January 3, 2011, Marissa Kingery, the only child of Amber McEwen and Jason Kingery was pronounced dead after two weeks in an unresponsive state at a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
Marissa started December 21, 2010 anxious and nervous about the dental procedure according to her mother. 
No doubt Marissa was on her Christmas break from school and excited because every child’s favorite holiday was just a few days away.  With presents already purchased and some under the Christmas tree Marissa Kingery was headed to the dentist.  In the end, there would be no Christmas for Marissa and no happy holiday for her parents.
That fateful morning, as any mother would, Marissa’s mother reassured her daughter and told her not to worry, “it will be OK.” It wasn’t ok.
Marissa’s father drove her to the appointment with 80 year old,Dr. Henry B. Mazorow.  Her appointment that day was to remove two baby teeth and one impacted permanent tooth.  It is not yet clear if sedation was really necessary. 
Something went terribly wrong under 80 year old, Dr. Henry B. Mazorow’s care.  An ambulance was called and she was rushed to the local hospital and later transferred to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was unresponsive and placed on life support...

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dead Children In Dental Chair Preventable? Talking Points Memo From AAPD

The aftermath of yesterday’s post, that was supposed to be in your face shocking, has generated some of the longest emails I’ve received in a long time.  All from people who are frustrated nothing is being done to stop these needless deaths.  Some believe there is a cover-up by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.  Probably more like "turn that light off", don't shine it over this way.   Many expect the number to rise because of the Medicaid dental mills spreading faster than I can list them across the US. 

The carelessness that caused these deaths happens in just about every operatory room all day every day, with each child that is separated from their parent and taken back to that dreaded room and the dreaded papoose board.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Dentist Allegedly Caused a Child's Death

October 27, 2004

Denise Alex
The Ohio State Dental Board has ruled that the actions of a Belpre dentist who administered a lethal dose of local anesthetic to a two-year-old West Virginia boy constituted malpractice.

Doctor James E. Kirkpatrick injected what experts testified was three times the manufacturer's maximum recommended dose of Prilocaine into Hunter Owens.

The boy died less than 90 minutes later on October 27th, 2004 at Camden Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg. Kirkpatrick was attempting to extract eleven rotted teeth from the boy.

The board Wednesday ordered Kirkpatrick's practice closed after ruling that his intentional decision to push the limit of the anesthetic was egregious malpractice.
Kirkpatrick's lawyer says he will appeal the ruling in Washington County, Ohio, where Kirkpatrick lives.

WTAP called Kirkpatrick's office Thursday and a recored message says his office will be closed until Monday, November 7th, 2004

Friday, September 28, 2001

Daniel Huynh death

September 28, 2001

A final settlement was reached Thursday in the wrongful death lawsuit a couple filed against a dentist after their 3-year-old son died after being given anesthesia at a Houston dental clinic.

Kenny Huynh and Tracy Phan of Houston, parents of Daniel Huynh, contend their son was given a dangerous sedative cocktail that proved fatal, given his size.

An autopsy showed Daniel died from the drugs' toxic effect. The toddler was given a drink containing Demerol, Phenergan and chloral hydrate when he went in for a root canal and fillings.

"They gave (Daniel) three drugs that an cause problems with breathing, two of which they gave him in excessive amounts" said lawyer Steve P. McCarthy today.

McCarthy, who represented Daniel's parents, said court records also show that the clinic staff failed to monitor the toddler's condition after he was sedated.

When the staff finally noticed the child was in distress, they did not have the equipment on hand to attempt to revive him as required by state law, the lawyer said.

One piece of equipment, a type of stethoscope, was in Tran Nguyen's car trunk, McCarthy added.

The settlement agreement prevents the parties involved from discussing the damages paid by Nguyen. On average, dentist's malpractice insurance pay out between $200,000 to $1 million per occurrence, according to dental malpractice experts.

Daniel's parents say they sued the dentist to bring attention to the issue of wrongful death caused during dental procedures, not money.

Huynh said he and his wife just want more parents to be aware that there are dangers associated with the type of sedation, known as conscious sedation, that took their son's life.

"We had never heard about this until it happened to us," he said. "We want the story to (get) out to the whole country ... so that our son's death means something."

Huynh described his son as a healthy child with a playful nature and a sharp mind who loved going on family trips to places like Hawaii, Lake Travis and the zoo.

Phan, who is expecting a child, said that her son is never far from her mind. She spent the anniversary of his death at a temple to be closer to him.

The couple cautioned parents to ask more pointed questions about the potential dangers associated with the drugs given children during dental and medical procedures, and to find out what will be done in the event of an emergency.

"Don't let this happen to your child," Phan said.