A New Jersey dentist, who has been allowed to continue practicing dentistry in New Jersey, is reportedly linked to fifteen cases of bacterial endocarditis in patients who had received intravenous sedation for oral surgical procedures performed between December 2012 and August 2014, due to alleged inadequate infection prevention practices at his New Jersey oral dentistry offices. Three of his dental patients reportedly died as a result of bacterial endocarditis.
The New Jersey dentist entered into an Interim Consent Order with the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry (“Board”) on July 7, 2016 in which the Board stated that it had been advised that two of the New Jersey dentist’s patients who had their wisdom teeth extracted had both been diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis that required surgery, and another patient who had a bone graft and implant procedure at the dentist’s office in 2012 contracted bacterial endocarditis that required heart valve replacement surgery.
An inspection of the New Jersey oral surgeon’s offices on November 14, 2014 reportedly found impermissible multiple use of single-dose vials of Propofol; use of common alcohol pumps; pre-filled medication syringes, including CDS; expired vials of medications; open multiple dose vials of medications; non-sterile preparation of dental instruments; and, poor documentation of medication units used and wasted.
The Board was unable to establish a causative link between the dentist’s infection prevention practices and the patients who contracted bacterial endocarditis (the dentist did not retain blood samples from the three procedures), but the Board determined “that [the dentist’s] office would benefit from improved infection prevention protocols.”
A second, unannounced inspection of the New Jersey dentist’s office on January 13, 2015 found that the dentist had implemented certain protocol changes that had been recommended as a result of the first inspection, but recommended further “adjustments,” including: maintenance of daily narcotics logs, timely disposal of outdated medication, development and implementation of additional policies and procedures on infection control, and providing for an adequate space for clean and dirty medication preparation areas.
The Board’s Interim Consent Order, which the Board stated is “adequately protective of the public health, safety and welfare,” requires the New Jersey dentist to maintain the changes he made in response to the inspections, to make other specified changes for all of his offices, and requires the dentist to submit monthly reports to the Board verifying that the changes made were implemented in all of his dental offices. The Board further required the New Jersey dentist to successfully complete a seven hour Board-approved course in record keeping.
Nonetheless, the New Jersey dentist is facing multiple dental malpractice lawsuits by patients who allegedly contracted bacterial endocarditis after receiving dental treatment in his New Jersey dental offices.
If you may be the victim of dental malpractice in New Jersey or in another state in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local dental malpractice attorney in New Jersey or in your state who may investigate your dental malpractice claim for you and represent you in a dental malpractice lawsuit, if appropriate.
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