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Dental medical malpractice suit settled out of court

Wisconsin readers may be aware of a recent settlement in a family’s malpractice case. The lawsuit was filed after the death of a teenage girl who fell into a coma and died after routine dental surgery. The medical malpractice case was recently settled out of court, and the family may be able to move forward with some sense of closure in the wake of their terrible loss.

The 17-year-old high school student checked in for routine wisdom teeth surgery. The lawsuit claims that while the teen was under anesthesia, no one on the surgical team adequately responded as she experienced a reduced flow of oxygen to her brain. The claim was also made that there were no attempts to revive her as her heart rated slowed, cutting off the oxygen supply.

As a result, the teenager went into a coma, and died 10 days later. Her autopsy report states that she died due to lack of adequate oxygen to the brain during the surgery. The suit named the oral surgeon, anesthesiologist, another doctor, two medical facilities and the business run by the anesthesiologist.

The details of the settlement are unknown, but a statement was made by the mother of the teen that the settlement was satisfactory to all parties. In many instances in which a medical error leads to a loss of life, pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit gives the surviving family members a sense of purpose. Some feel as if the outcome of such suits can send a message to the larger medical community about the proper level of care that should be employed, and could help save other lives, in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Malpractice claim in teen’s wisdom teeth death settled out of court,” Kevin Rector, April 3, 2013

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