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

Though rare, death following routine surgery can happen

So many surgeries performed in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country today are considered routine. But that doesn’t mean that negligence can’t occur and result in a horrific tragedy.

A Maine family recently learned this after their son died days after having his wisdom teeth removed, a procedure that many of us have gone through.

Reportedly, the Maine teen had routine surgery to have his impacted wisdom teeth removed in mid-February and appeared to experience the normal pain and swelling after the operation.

However, around two days after the surgery, the 18-year-old’s condition worsened significantly and he passed away in his mother’s arms. Although emergency responders were called, they were not able to resuscitate the young man.

A professor who has studied the risk factors associated with wisdom teeth extraction said that complications from oral surgery are rarely serious enough to lead to death. In fact, the risk of death is so low, “it can’t be accurately estimated,” he said.

Because it is so rare that death would result from this type of surgery, it is possible that negligence played a role. Unfortunately, dentists and physicians sometimes don’t use the necessary standard of care when performing basic or routine procedures and serious errors can occur as a result.

It is not apparent at this point if negligence played a role in the Maine teen’s death, but it is likely that an investigation will take place in order to answer that question.

Even though the teen’s parents have said they are focusing on celebrating their son’s life instead of questioning why he had to die, they have a right to know the possible contributors to their son’s death, should they decide to explore the tragic event further.

Source: CBS Connecticut, “Teen Dies Days After Having Wisdom Teeth Removed,” Feb. 27, 2014

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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