Parents File Negligence Suit Against Dentist in Daughter’s Death
Evan and Ashley Boyle, the parents of a 3-year old girl who died in early January after going into cardiac arrest during a dental procedure, have filed a negligence lawsuit against the dentist. The parents allege that their daughter Finley received excessive amounts of medication and that proper medical procedures were not followed, leading to their daughter's oxygen deprivation, brain damage and eventual death. A wrongful death lawsuit is expected to follow as well.
Routine Dental Procedure
In November 2013, Mrs. Boyle took Finley to Dr. Lilly Geyer of Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua, Hawaii. During the initial visit, Dr. Geyer informed Mrs. Boyle that Finley had ten cavities, and that four of them required root canals. According to Colgate.com, dentists suggest fixing baby teeth as they are important for chewing, speech development and the spacing of adult teeth. Mrs. Boyle and Finley returned to Island Dentistry on Dec. 3 for further treatment. According to court documents, records obtained from Island Dentistry regarding the procedure showed that Finley was given a highly potent mixture of sedatives, including Demerol. Finley went into cardiac arrest during the procedure. There were only three notations regarding the child's vital signs, despite the fact that guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say that vital signs should be monitored and documented every five minutes, and staff had to run down the hall to a pediatrician's office to get help for Finley.
According to the pediatrician, Dr. Brit Reis, she found Finley sitting upright and not breathing in the dental chair. She had no audible heartbeat and she was unresponsive, according to Dr. Reis. She also stated that there was no attempt by the dental staff to use a resuscitator bag nor was anything given to Finley to counteract the sedatives, according to an article in the Huffington Post. Records show that during a 26-minute gap in monitoring, Finley's oxygen saturation level fell from normal to 65 percent or less, and that the 38-pound child had been given the maximum dose of Demerol and Hydroxyzine, as well as 40 percent more than the maximum of chloral hydrate. Finley died at a hospice facility on January 3, 2014.
Dentist Under Investigation
Island Dentistry's website states that Dr. Geyer's practice has been permanently closed, and she is under investigation by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. While Finley was in a coma, another dentist performed an examination of her teeth and found that there were not ten cavities, and the family's attorney, Rick Fried, said that the second examination revealed that only two of the teeth needed attention. The second dentist also reported that the x-rays used by Dr. Geyer were of such poor quality they were essentially "non-diagnostic."
When the negligence of another person is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in an incident that causes injury or death, a negligence or wrongful death claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an incident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by someone else's negligence.