Articles Tagged with malpractice

Published on:

Deadly Dentistry - Part 6 - Could Dental Malpractice be Considered Murder?

A California dentist, Dr. Claire, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his son, after performing a routine dental procedure. Patrick Claire, a developmentally disabled 36-year-old whose condition resembled autism, died shortly after having a painful wisdom tooth extracted by his father. Patrick died from respiratory failure and cardiac arrest as a result of an overdose of the sedatives morphine and valium. The dentist had been practicing for forty years and had a history of complaints filed against him for sedation-related issues. Morphine is not an approved sedative and Dr. Claire did not have a license to practice aesthetics.

What elevated the incident of death from dental malpractice to suspicion of murder was the testimony of an eyewitness to the entire procedure. Sandra Montoya was the dental assistant at the time and claimed that Dr. Claire did nothing when she tried to alert him that his son was struggling to breathe. She said that the doctor claimed that such was common and his son was prone to having seizures. After Ms. Montoya left work at 5:00 pm the doctor waited an hour and called 911. When police and rescue workers arrived around 6:00 pm they found Dr. Claire half-heartedly administering CPR to his son with a force the equivalent of “honking a car horn with one hand”. Patrick was taken to a local hospital where he was declared dead. Montoya told police that she did not see the doctor administer the required blood pressure tests to Patrick prior to giving him the sedatives and that there were no vital signs monitored during the procedure as required by law.

Although Dr. Claire claimed that he had given Patrick a standard intravenous dosage of valium and morphine, lethal amounts nearly three times the required level to sedate a patient of his height and weight were found in his system including some in his stomach. It was discovered that Patrick had sought medical attention at the local emergency room and was given pain prescription painkillers including novocaine. It is suspected that Patrick, a known local drug user, could have secured the morphine illegally and used it to relieve his pain without telling his father.

Published on:

Hospitals Focus On Doing No Harm

It comes as a shock when a loved one dies during a routine hospital visit. It is assumed that hospital employees do everything they can to make your visit as safe as possible, however, hospital-related deaths in the United States number from around 98,000 to 440,000 each year according to a study conducted in 2013. Hospitals take patient safety seriously and are implementing measures and training employees in an attempt to reduce the number of these fatalities.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Deadly Dentistry - Part 7 - Common Sense Questions to Ask Prior to a Dental Visit

The Dallas Morning News’ investigation of deadly dentist uncovered that since 2010 approximately 1000 dental patients have died due to the negligence of dentists, their assistants and paid anesthetic subcontractors. It is impossible to estimate how many more have been seriously harmed. The Dallas Morning News claims that it is not their intention to scare people away from taking their children to the dentist, or going themselves, and have created a list of questions that you should ask before visiting a dentist.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Deadly Dentistry - Part 5 - Most States Do Not Report Dental Malpractice

The Dallas Morning News conducted a comprehensive test of all states and found that each state has an agency set up for the express purpose of monitoring and recording negligent dentist’s negligent behavior. All agencies get failing grades, however, in terms of uncovering, tracking or making public the records of dentists who have caused patient deaths. A summary of the findings leads the reader to conclude that dentists that injure, maim, and kill their patients are being shielded from full transparency to the public.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Deadly Dentistry - Part 4 - Government Oversight for Dental Malpractice?

Even if a dentist commits malpractice and has his license to practice taken away, it’s easy for them to simply set up shop in another state as if nothing ever happened. In Texas, all a dentist is required to do is fill out an online form when applying for a license. One of the only probative questions an online form asks is if any disciplinary action has ever been taken by another state against them. Doctors simply check “no”, and then feign ignorance of the meaning of the question if challenged. A doctor’s credibility will be questioned only after a doctor kills another patient and a zealous wrongful death attorney uncovers the dentist’s disciplinary history in an investigation. Even then it is difficult to ascertain the truth since only anonymous records are made public.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Deadly Dentistry - Part 3 - Dental Sedation Kills?

Administering anesthetics in a dental office this every bit as dangerous as getting anesthetics before surgery in a hospital. If you are admitted to a hospital for surgery you can rest assured that a trained physician, one with experience and a degree in anesthesiology will be in charge of your sedation. When you go to the dentist, however, even for something even as simple is a tooth extraction or to fill a cavity, you’ll receive potent anesthetics from a dental assistant sometimes with only a two-year Associate’s degree. While a professional anesthetist can rely on the training of 8 or more years of college in the specialty of anesthesia, the dental assistant training is limited to following state mandated guidelines and reading the back of prescription medication bottles. Sometimes the dental anesthetist is an independent contractor hired by the dentist to administer the anesthetics.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Deadly Dentistry - Part 2 - The Ways Dentists Can Kill

No one would assume that going to the dentist is as risky to one’s health as having a heart bypass operation or other invasive surgery. Surprisingly, national statistics indicates that one person dies from dental Malpractice every other day and that number could be low since few states with the exception of Texas keep meaningful records of deaths from dental negligence. While the percentage of people who die from a dental visit when compared with all people who go to the dentist is low, any death from a dental visit is shocking.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Deadly Dentistry - Part 1 - Dental Offices Are Not Hospitals

When a young child is in the hospital for a surgical procedure, the principals in attendance are usually a surgeon, nurses, and very importantly, an anesthesiologist whose primary responsibility is to properly administer an anesthetic to the patient so that the patient can comfortably endure the pain of the surgery. Surgeons in hospitals don’t administer anesthesia, and it’s for good reason. Administering anesthesia entails giving the patient potent, potentially deadly drugs and requires the expertise of a separate, trained physician to attend to this and this only. Monitoring patient’s vital signs i.e., heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels are a critical part of the procedure and need constant attention. But suppose instead surgery in a hospital your young child requires a surgical dental procedure. Will your children be given the same anesthetic care in the dentist’s office that they get at a hospital? The answer is an unqualified no and as a result, children are dying.

Continue reading →

Contact Information