The family of a three-year-old child who died during a routine dental procedure in a Kansas dental office has filed a Kansas dental malpractice wrongful death lawsuit against those the family allege are responsible for the death of their precious child.
According to the timeline alleged in the lawsuit:
- On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, three-year-old Abiel Zapata Valenzuela was receiving dental care at Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry (TTPD). Scott White DDS (Dr. White) was responsible for performing the appropriate dental procedures. CRNA jeremy Salsbury was responsible for providing appropriate anesthesia during the dental procedure.
- Dr. White was in charge of managing the entire dental event.
- A history and evaluation of Abiel’s medical condition was taken before the anesthesia and dental procedure began. Abiel’s documented history before the dental procedure began showed “no heart or lung issues, no known drug allergies”.
- Anesthesia administration began around 0715 with Propofol and Ketamine being administered by CRNA Salsbury.
- During the administration of the anesthesia medications, Dr. White documented that there was “no appearance of hives, erythema, redness, etc. for signs of allergic reaction.”
- Minutes before 0800 another dose of propofol was administered by the CRNA.
- Minutes before 0800 Dr. White was alerted by CRNA Salsbury “of irregular heart rhythm and inadequate patient ventilation” as documented in the medical record.
- It was documented that at “0800 – no pulse -CPR initiated -911 notified”.
- It was below the standard of care for the defendants to allow Abiel to become inadequately ventilated. Abiel’s “inadequate patient ventilation” led to inadequate oxygenation, eventual bradycardia (a decreased heart rate), then no pulse, and finally PEA (pulseless electrical activity of the heart) as documented in the anesthesia record.
- At about 0803 an endotracheal tube was placed emergently for ventilation by CRNA Salsbury. CPR was then resumed. The endotracheal tube’s ventilation and subsequent CPR did not revive Abiel into a normal healthy condition.
- At about 0806 EMS arrived, a report was given to EMS, and the CPR was continued.
- EMS documented “that this patient was receiving a dental procedure when it was noted that the patient became apneic, and had no pulse. CPR and EMS was initiated…The CRNA reports that swelling was noted to be present after administration of the lidocaine. Worried for airway compromise, the patient was then intubated by the CRNA.”
- As a result of the “airway compromise” and the “inadequate patient ventilation” that led to his cardiac arrest, Abiel Zapata Valenzuela died that same day. His cardiac arrest was caused by the severe hypoxia. The severe hypoxia was the result of his insufficient oxygenation from the inadequate ventilation. The defendants negligently failed to provide adequate ventilation and oxygenation for Abiel so that he would avoid becoming so hypoxic that his hypoxia would cause a cardiac arrest.
- Defendants, individually and/or collectively as a team, fell below the standard of care in their care and treatment of Abiel Zapata Valenzuela. Defendants were negligent and breached their respective duties to Abiel Zapata Valenzuela, and their negligence caused Abiel Zapata Valenzuela’s death. Had defendants provided proper care and treatment to Abiel Zapata Valenzuela he would not have died. With proper care, Abiel would have had a successful, uneventful dental procedure and be a normal healthy boy today.
On August 17, 2021, the defendant dental practice issued a statement through its attorney: “We are disappointed that Mr. Prochaska has filed this lawsuit so prematurely. Many details spelled out in his filing are incomplete at best, and inaccurate at worst. Without the coroner’s final report, Mr. Prochaska can only speculate as to what occurred.”
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries (or worse) due to possible dental malpractice in Kansas or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly seek the advice of a dental malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your dental malpractice claim for you and file a dental malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.
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