“The parents of a Maryland teen who died earlier this year during wisdom tooth surgery have sued the oral surgeon and the anesthetist for medical malpractice. Jenny Olenick, a 17-year-old junior at Marriotts Ridge High School in Woodstock, Md., died in April from complications during the outpatient procedure performed on 5 million Americans each year,” reports Yahoo!
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the family by medical malpractice attorneys, makes claims that the oral surgeon and anesthesiologist were negligent. They failed to resuscitate the girl after her blood oxygen level and heart rate plummeted. The state’s chief medical examiner has determined that the young girl died from hypoxia – oxygen deprivation while under anesthesia.
While the family has declined to comment on the pending medical malpractice lawsuit, a family spokesperson did indicate that the family’s hope is to “highlight the surgery’s risks and the need for better emergency training among dentists and oral surgeons.”
Unfortunately, the Olenick case is one of many pediatric dentistry fatalities. Because oral surgery may require sedation or anesthesia, the “The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that three staff be present when deep sedation occurs in a dental office. The anesthesia provider should be a licensed medical or dental practitioner with certification for providing anesthesia; he should monitor the patient’s vital signs, airway patency, cardiovascular and neurological status and adequacy of ventilation,” according to Yahoo!
The AAPD guidelines also indicate that even if state law allows an anesthesia assistant or registered nurse anesthetist to administer anesthesia to dental patients, the dentist should still be trained and licensed to provide anesthesia. Additionally, both the clinical staff and the operating dentist have to be up to date in basic life support in the event that there is a complication while a patient is under anesthesia.
Additionally, due to the risks associated with any surgical procedure – especially one where a patient is sedated or under anesthesia – some dentists are beginning to question whether wisdom tooth extraction is necessary in the majority of cases. “Studies suggest no more than 12 percent of [wisdom tooth] impactions lead to infections or damage to adjacent teeth — roughly the same incidence as appendicitis. No medical associations recommend prophylactic appendectomy.”
While there seems to be dissension among different health organizations, it does make sense to work with a pediatric dentist with whom you are comfortable to help you make the right decision for your children and yourself. If you or a loved one have suffered complications from a surgical procedure, you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago or in your area to find out your options.
DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Malman Law shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.
Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.
Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2023
Britany WeaverView more testimonials
Cheryl WagemannView more testimonials
Elvira G.View more testimonials
Tony S.View more testimonials
DEVIN JONESView more testimonials
Devin JonesView more testimonials
Annie OngView more testimonials
Eugenia CatheryView more testimonials
Omolewa SnyderView more testimonials
Trevor HarrisView more testimonials
Ernest PittsView more testimonials
Ariel FlemingView more testimonials
Carmen RiveraView more testimonials
Greg GustafsonView more testimonials
Malak St.ClairView more testimonials
Devri LottView more testimonials
Adrian LopezView more testimonials
Vanessa LeonView more testimonials
Nyah VuljanicView more testimonials
Jeff WalkerView more testimonials
Steve AcostaView more testimonials
Adrianna GomezView more testimonials
Jose CruzView more testimonials
Meagan CruzView more testimonials
Eddie VillarrealView more testimonials
Madissen MillerView more testimonials
Christina OconView more testimonials
Adriana MartinezView more testimonials
Virgil SannerView more testimonials
Jazlyn CaraballoView more testimonials
Ashley JenkinsView more testimonials
Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today by filling out the form below or call us at 1 (888) 625-6265