October 2, 2012

A medical malpractice jury trial in Texas is shedding light on the circumstances of the death of a 22-month-old toddler who died the day after Christmas in December, 2009, as a result of alleged dental malpractice. The brain-dead toddler was placed on life-support for 15 days after the dental procedure to place caps on multiple teeth that concluded with the little boy being given two doses of morphine as he was waking up after anesthesia.

The morphine allegedly resulted in the little boy suffering respiratory arrest at his grandmother’s home hours after he was sent home from the dental procedure, which caused the toddler to suffer irreversible brain damage.

The boy had awaken from anesthesia, crying and “agitated.” The boy’s mother was concerned about the boy’s behavior and sought a nurse to assist her child. The nurse returned to the boy’s room a short time later and injected what turned out to be morphine into his IV tube, which was approved by the anesthesiologist. A second dose was administered by the same nurse 10 minutes later.

The boy remained asleep when he was discharged to his grandmother’s home (the boy’s mother had to return to work). Several hours later, the boy remained in a deep sleep that concerned the grandmother. The boy’s mother called the nurse who had injected her son with the two doses of morphine to discuss her concern. A short time later, the grandmother called the boy’s mother and frantically told her that her son had stopped breathing and that she was performing CPR on the little boy.

During her testimony last week in front of the medical malpractice jury hearing her case, the mother testified, “I miss him. I wanted to see his first day of school … I wanted all of that.” The mother told the jury how she was unable to hold her son for the 15 days while he was on life-support, and that she was only able to bathe him and lie next to him while he died after the life-support was removed. Her son was buried in a red coffin, the same color as his favorite Sesame Street character, Elmo.


No parent should have to bury a child. It is especially sad and egregious if the child died from an avoidable incident. Even worse is when the child died because of medical negligence committed by a supposedly competent, knowledgeable, and qualified medical provider upon whom the parents reasonably and necessarily relied to provide required medical care to their child.

When the medical negligence of a trusted medical provider fails to meet the required level of care and the substandard care causes injuries or death to someone under his care, the negligent medical provider is responsible for the harms that his negligent medical care caused.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to possible medical malpractice in Texas or in another state in the United States, you should prompt seek the advice of a Texas medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may agree to investigate your claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing to assist you with a medical malpractice claim, or call us on our toll-free line: 800-295-3959.

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