Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Autopsy: Sedative drugs caused toddler's tragic death

Sedative drugs are powerful and they need to be used with extreme caution, especially when tiny bodies are involved. When this standard of care is ignored, tragedy can result.

The parents of a 3-year-old girl have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a dental office after their daughter died as a result of the sedatives she received prior to a dental procedure. 

The incident took place on Dec. 3 when the parents brought their only child to a children’s dental office for cavity fillings and root canals. After receiving five sedating drugs, the small child became unconscious and then suffered a heart attack.

After the toddler slipped into a coma, her parents filed suit against the dentist. They allege that their daughter had been healthy and had no prior heart condition before being given the drugs.

A medical autopsy showed that the toddler’s teeth were also in “good repair,” so the necessity of the numerous dental procedures is also called into question.

The five sedative drugs in her system were hydroxyzine, chlorohydrate, laughing gas and a local anesthetic, which included lidocaine with epinephrine.

It was after the local anesthetic that the small child lost consciousness, the autopsy report indicated.

In January, the state tightened its restrictions on dental sedation. But the regulations came too late for this little girl.

The dental office where the tragedy took place has also since closed. But it is unknown how many other children throughout the country are at risk in other dental offices.

While a Sedatives cited in toddler's dentist office death,” March 21, 2014

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