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Dental malpractice may have caused child's brain injury

Anticipating a trip to the dentist is often unpleasant for many people in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, a recent out-of-state incident may create even more concern for dental patients. One family is claiming that dental malpractice resulted in their daughter's brain injury.

The 4-year-old victim reportedly went to the dentist in January for treatment of teeth that were decaying. While under general anesthesia, reports indicate that the young girl suffered a seizure. The dentist is accused of providing an oral medication in response to the seizure instead of contacting emergency responders. Reports indicate that emergency personnel were not contacted until hours later.

Family members of the young girl claim that the delay caused severe brain damage. Four months later, she is reportedly a patient at a rehabilitation center where she is unable walk and talk and appears to have issues with her vision. Her mother says the girl's long-term prognosis is unclear at this time. The Texas Board of Dental Examiners have issued a temporary suspension as a result of the incident.

No one is perfect, including medical care providers. Additionally, some patients may react to a drug or treatment in an unexpected manner; however, medical care providers have a responsibility to look out for the best interests of their patients, which includes identifying when additional care is necessary. If it can be proved that the young girl was harmed as a result of dental malpractice, her parents could potentially receive an award of damages to help them better cope with the financial implications of her ongoing care. Those in Massachusetts who have suffered in a similar manner also have the option of seeking recompense in a civil court. A successfully presented case can help ensure that victims receive necessary medical care.

Source: ABC News, "4-Year-Old Girl Suffers 'Severe Brain Injury' at Dentist's Office, Documents Say", Avianne Tan, March 12, 2016

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