“I just want answers,” devastated mum says after daughter dies in dental procedure
"Any time a patient undergoes anesthesia there are risks, but there is also a risk with untreated dental disease.”
A lot of things can happen inside the dentist’s office, but none of which should includes the death of your child. Yet that was the nightmare this Texan mother have to live with.
“I just want answers to what happened to my child," Betty Squire told TODAY. "You never expect to go to the dentist and your child passes away."
Betty’s 14-month-old daughter Daisy Lynne went in for "fairly common procedure," said an Austin dental office spokesperson. During the procedure, however, the dental office called EMS and rushed Daisy to the North Austin Medical Center.
Five hours later, Daisy was dead.
According to Betty, she brought her daughter for a check up six months ago; two weeks ago, dentists told her Daisy would need two cavities filled.
"They told me that they were going to put her under and the procedure was going to take 40 to 45 minutes and I should go to the waiting room.”
Shortly after the dentists began, they came out of the room and told Betty “more extensive work needed to be done.”
"I trusted the dentist," she added. "I said go ahead and take care of it. Then 10 minutes after that, he came over and said please come into this room and then he told me, 'Something went wrong and she started having trouble breathing and went into cardiac arrest. We did CPR and she's fine now. We called EMS to monitor her because that's standard.'"
Betty was terrified and sick to her stomach, saying “in my heart, I knew she was already gone."
As Daisy was wheeled out to the ambulance, Betty kissed her daughter and laid her head on her. "They rushed her to the hospital and she died there," she said. "I put my child's life in their hands and I am not able to bring her home with me."
"I don't know the details of this specific situation," Sarah Marshall, a spokeswoman for Austin Children's Dentistry told NBC affiliate KXAN. "The staff here is waiting to hear additional details of what exactly the medical examiner's office releases."
She also revealed that both a dentist and an anesthesiologist were in the room with Daisy at the time of the incident.
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is now looking into the toddler’s death.
Next page find out more about anesthesia and its risks
Anesthesia and its risks
Dr. Robert Delarosa, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and a dentist in private practice in Baton Rouge, told TODAY that he recognizes the risk of children undergoing anesthesia.
"Any time a patient undergoes anesthesia there are risks," he said. "But there is also a risk with untreated dental disease. That has to be part of it, too."
Children who are very young do require work, and they simply won’t be able to lay down on a chair for an extended period of time.
“Dentistry is not the most innocuous stimulus and a very, very young child has to be made as comfortable as possible,” he added. “So it's not uncommon for children to undergo anesthesia.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Joel Weaver, a dentist anesthesiologist and emeritus professor of the Ohio State University Medical Center, said that dentistry is a precise science that requires some form of conscious sedation or general anesthesia."
For Dr. David Nash, a professor in the department of pediatric dentistry at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, Daisy’s death "was a tragic circumstance, and one that simply reinforces that there are inherent risks in any sedation and general anesthesia procedure.”