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Toddler's death apparent case of dental malpractice

Parents often carefully consider their child's future. They think of the sports they will play and the college they may attend. The average parent in Massachusetts rarely does not think that a relatively simple visit to the dentist will prevent their child from pursuing any of these goals. Unfortunately, more parents are likely thinking of this after an out-of-state toddler died from what could be a case of dental malpractice arising out of relatively routine dental care.

Those connected with the family say that the incident occurred in late March. According to reports, the 14-month old needed a cavity filled. To do so, the dentist used anesthesia, but unfortunately, something apparently went horribly wrong during the procedure.

Reports indicate that the young girl stopped breathing during the procedure and was transported to the hospital. She later passed away. While the dentist has declined to make a comment out of privacy concerns for the family other than to offer his condolences, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners has confirmed that it is now investigating the death of a patient that occurred at the dental practice.

It is difficult to imagine the grief that this family is experiencing as they come to terms with the young child's death. Hopefully, an investigation will reveal what went wrong during the procedure so that future patients are not harmed. Victims of dental malpractice in Massachusetts often choose to pursue recompense in a civil court -- an option likely available to this grieving family. While a verdict in their favor will not lessen their sense of loss, it could provide them with some peace of mind knowing that their response could protect others while ensuring that they do not face additional stress due to medical bills and funeral expenses.

Source: ABC News, "Texas Toddler Dies After Going to Dentist, Health Officials Launch Investigation", Gillian Mohney, March 31, 2016

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