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Dental malpractice at heart of patient death and 15 illnesses

A New Jersey dentist has been found to be at the heart of 15 patient illnesses and a death. The dentist, who recently signed a consent order, is still practicing even though his actions have caused so many health problems and even a death. This case is very troubling because of the issues that are present.

The patients, who suffered from endocarditis, all visited this dentist for oral surgery. In one case, it took doctors four months to determine that the inflammation inside of the heart valves and chambers was what was causing a man's son's fainting episodes. That boy's case was the one that made an official realize that something was amiss.

By the time all of the patients were discovered, there were 15 patients who were affected. Every patient had received intravenous sedation at the dental clinic. Out of the 15 patients, 12 had to have surgery to treat the endocarditis. One of the patients died because of complications of the condition. A report on the matter noted that patients who visited the clinic in 2013 and 2014 were 250 times more likely to develop the infection than the national infection rate associated with oral surgery.

Regulators paid a visit to the dentist's clinic in November of 2014. That visit resulted in regulators uncovering several safety breaches, including using single vials of medications for more than one patient. Three months later, deficiencies were still present when regulators made a return visit.

This case is a shocking reminder that even seemingly simple dental procedures can lead to horrible medical issues when malpractice is present. If you suffered harm at the hands of a dentist who was negligent, you might opt to seek compensation.

Source: Philly Voice, "Report: 15 of New Jersey dentist's patients sickened, 1 died," David Porter, Associated Press, Aug. 17, 2016

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