Hawaiian Girl Who Suffered Brain Damage From Dental Procedure Dies

Parents allege she was given incorrect dosages of medication

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A 3-year-old girl whose dental procedure caused massive brain damage died Friday, according to her family’s lawyer.

Finley Boyle’s parents have filed a lawsuit against Lilly Geyer and her practice, Island Dentistry for Children, alleging that their daughter was given incorrect dosages of medication during a dental procedure on Dec. 3.

“As a direct and proximate result of the medications administered to (Finley) by defendants, (Finley) suffered cardiac arrest during her dental procedure,” the lawsuit states, resulting in “severe and permanent brain damage.”

Boyle’s parents also allege that Finley was sedated and left alone for 26 minutes, and that Geyer had no emergency plan for instances like their daughters. Finley was was undergoing four root canals, which she had been advised for in November.

Geyer did not immediately respond for comment but the practice’s website said it has been permanently closed.

Boyle was moved from a hospital to a hospice in December, after pediatric neurologist Dr. Gregory Yen said the toddler’s sever brain damage left her in a “persistent vegetative state.”

[CNN]

40 comments
thedeadpopes
thedeadpopes

Perhaps the dentist felt she needed the money. "Hey, I've got an idea. I  tell  the parents she needs four root canals. Ought to pay my rent."

RaejeanImlerFrench
RaejeanImlerFrench

Since when do baby teeth have roots? And who would have been crazy enough to agree to such a procedure? 

sigridnorfleet
sigridnorfleet

4 ROOT CANALS on a 3 YEAR OLD? There is no need for root canals on baby teeth! They could have pulled these teeth out or crowned them since they'd be coming out in 3 yrs.  And then four root canals during one visit?  A successful root canal should be done by an Endodontist anyway not a Dentist. It takes 40 minutes to do an incomplete root canal on one tooth, let alone four. It's normally 2 visits per tooth with no complications. A three year old would have to be sedated carefully and monitored. This is NOT the parent's fault. What is wrong with people nowadays? Dentists are not cardiologists, nor anesthesiologists- and how could they leave this child unattended for so long? My son is scheduled to have a bead removed from his ear under anesthesia at the city hospital because he won't sit still. It is a serious procedure because of the anesthesia and has to be done in a hospital setting.  You never know how the child will react until he/she has been dosed.

touche
touche

Intelligent comments by a few on this thread are much appreciated. Denisius and Openminded1, you should check out the CNN commentaries on the same article by thousands of people.  They like myself are simply expressing opinions, raising questions and making comments. Thumbs up for freedom of speech, and when one can express thoughts in a civil way without being derogatory or insulting to those whose outlook is different than yours. 

majorblock
majorblock

The question here seems to be whether or not anesthesia is requred for this planned procedure.  It is not a question of whether or not a trained professional is warranted.  A trained professional IS warranted.  When one is contemplating having this much dental work, sedation alone in an office is not the place to have the prcedure.  It does not matter either whether or not you have an "anesthesiologist" or a CRNA providing your anesthesia.  What matters most is whether or not the facility has the capability to take care of the patient during and immediately after the planned procedure and whether or not the anesthesia provider is skilled enough to handle any untoward side effects of the anesthetic administered.  Many will say that an anesthesiologist is the person of choice, but I would disagree and say that a CRNA can also provide the necessary expertise for this procedure.  The most beneficial grouping of providers would have been the anesthesia care team of both a CRNA and an Anesthesiologist.  One cannot prevent "acts of God" in many cases but the combination of a skilled anesthesia "TEAM" and a dental surgeon recognizing that fact may have helped prevent this unfortunate outcome. 



rutoft64
rutoft64

The answer here is unless they been tested for an allergy to any of the sedation that will be used, the answer is yes. But I do believe to do this all at once is the question here. The more you do at one sitting the more traumatic it is in my opinion. But it will be up to you. ASK a lot of questions, do some homework be well informed. This is not just a simple procedure. It also is considered surgery and covered by a good health care policy. Just a side note here the A.C.A. would cover this.

touche
touche

Thank you norenforsenate for your response. I agree that a 3 year old should not have died at the dental office. The office made some fatal mistakes. The whole situation and the death of the child could have been prevented if the parents had simply taken care of their child's teeth, especially if the mother is an intelligent registered nurse. Second opinions and hospital dentistry should have been explored.  To put one's child at risk with such a bad state of oral care at the age of 3 is mind blowing.  The articles say rootcanals and it means pulpotomies which are done on children who's decay has advanced into the nerve or pulp. The need to save the tooth, preserve the space and give the child chewing ability/function are the reasons for "rootcanals, or pulpotomies". She was 3 and so it wouldn't be until age 7 or later that her adult teeth would come out. RIP little one.

norenforsenate
norenforsenate

So much misinformation out there:

What is the norm?

Proper selection of the dental procedure which, CAN be more than  one treatment plan

Proper selection AND location of anesthesia ranging from local (only numbing) to IV sedation or, general anesthesia.

For a 3 year old,  deep IV sedation or general anesthesia, again, which are different, should be done in a surgicenter or hospital setting by an anesthesiologist. Nitrous sedation with local, or very minor oral sedation can be done safely in a dental office by trained dentists, whether specialist or not, as long as they are certified. This is not a situation to arm chair quarterback. What should happen is a serious look at what happened and how to avoid this in the future.

Many times, 3 year olds can be managed safely by a pediatric dentist (not a general dentist).

I am an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon btw.

ssmsass
ssmsass

When I was told that my son needs baby tooth out I went to the surgeon who would not touch him w/o general anesthesia. I went to different one who said the tooth can be saved and he needs root canal. I went to another dentis because mine would not consider saving his tooth. That dentist wanted 1800$ and would not touch him without general anesthesia. When I voiced my concerns about anesthesia he told me to find someone different. I called offices and got the same response. I called my friend in Europe and bought tickets to save my sons tooth and maybe life. He did not need even root canal only filling. Just amazed how hard it is to get proper care in this country. I know someone may feel that I'm crazy but I would never put my child under unnecessary anesthesia.

mks
mks

Alas!!! This happens in America too....................

JuneMandelaro
JuneMandelaro

Why does a 3 year old child need root canal when they still have baby teeth that are going to fall out?  Doesn't root canal kill the tooth & won't it affect the new tooth coming in?  Will the new tooth turn black & need a crown?  What a way to make money!  All doctors know that parents will spend money on their children so they take advantage  of their emotions.  I feel so bad for those parents.

rutoft64
rutoft64

No you are not supposed to die at 3 years old in a dentist office!! No a three year old does not need 4 root canals. Never. We all know that there is a big problem in dentistry in America. They are in it for the money. They do things that are not needed. It is all about money.

luciferase
luciferase

A 3-year-old who needs 4 root canals? Did I read that right? That's crazy right there...

TimeThoughts
TimeThoughts

What happened to this child is beyond words. My thoughts are with this family.

Many pediatric dentists will not let parents in the exam/procedure room for any reason once a child turns 3. Needless to say that was the case with all the pediatric dentists covered by our insurance. We opted to pay big bucks (and we aren't rich) to be in the room for every cleaning, exam, and procedure. Our kids like the dentist, have no fear of the dentist, and are alive. Their dentist is kind and gentle. He is an advocate for children's emotional well being along with their health and safety.


Our daughter is to have caps applied on Tuesday. This story is scary. Fortunately I will be in the room to make sure she is well.


Parents must be strong advocates for their children and insist they are present for all dental procedures. If the dentist says they can't be there it's time to find a different dentist.

Openminded1
Openminded1

Major law suit, rightly so. total negligence by an arrogant dentist. you do not leave  a 3 year old unattended while medicated for 26 minutes. Pull the dumb ass dentist license and let her find a new career where she can not kill little children.

DrGuava
DrGuava

@thedeadpopes Children get root canals in order to preserve the tooth for when the adult teeth start coming in. It's not as invasive as adult root canal, and not nearly as expensive--you're not trying to save the tooth for a lifetime, just for a year or two until the adult teeth come in and need that space. 

When baby teeth are lost prematurely, the remaining teeth move to fill in that space, and the future adult teeth don't have a 'space' saved for them--cue thousands of dollars in orthodontia. It's much less expensive, less invasive and less painful when root canals are done on children--provided that they're done in an office that has reasonable procedures for sedation dentistry. 

DrGuava
DrGuava

@RaejeanImlerFrench All teeth have roots. The roots on baby teeth are smaller and easily atrophy after trauma, or when adult teeth start to move in.

DrGuava
DrGuava

@sigridnorfleet Are you dentist? A doctor? A person with medical training? Seriously, there are so many ignorant comments on here. I'll copy what I wrote to another poster:

Children get root canals in order to preserve the tooth for when the adult teeth start coming in. It's not as invasive as adult root canal, and not nearly as expensive--you're not trying to save the tooth for a lifetime, just for a year or two until the adult teeth come in and need that space. 

When baby teeth are lost prematurely, the remaining teeth move to fill in that space, and the future adult teeth don't have a 'space' saved for them--cue thousands of dollars in orthodontia. It's much less expensive, less invasive and less painful when root canals are done on children--provided that they're done in an office that has reasonable procedures for sedation dentistry.  

And dentists are perfectly capable of performing root canals...

victoria123
victoria123

@touche It's premature to judge the parents we don't know why this little girl had such bad teeth. It may not have been the parent's fault medicine can seriously affect children's teeth.  I used to be a nanny for a little girl who had 2 root canals as well as a partial root canal at 11 years old because she took so many antibiotics as a toddler to treat recurring ear infections. Her parents ensured that her teeth were brushed 2x/day every day but that wasn't enough to prevent the damage. Without more information we shouldn't judge the parents they experienced a profound loss and we don't know what caused it.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@touche Bs you moron. You must be a dentist or work for one.

Denesius
Denesius

@touche  "The whole situation and the death of the child could have been prevented if the parents had simply taken care of their child's teeth....."   

So if I'm reading your post correctly, in your opinion, the parents are at least partially to blame? I didn't realize that there were monkeys that dumb out there capable of posting.

DrGuava
DrGuava

@norenforsenate Then you're aware that deep IV sedation is done every day in dentists' offices w/o any problems at all. I'm pretty sure that in this case, it *was* a matter of dosage, and someone misread the mg's needed to put the kid out. 

Eng.Rody
Eng.Rody

@ssmsass


I'll share with you my twin 3 years daughters story. One of them got recently several deep cavities and the other has no single one!!!

I took her to 3 paediatric dentists and all of them say she need 4 root canals and several fillings. This will cost me around 3000 $ in addition to 1000 for the IV sedition.

They told Iv sedition is safer and done by the speciality Dr.

Just I would like to alert that kids teeth resistance are not the same. This answer several concerns raised here regarding the girl teeths deterioration.

Shall I go with the IV sedition Procedure??

DrGuava
DrGuava

@mks You do know that Hawaii is *in* American, right? It's our 50th state.

DrGuava
DrGuava

@JuneMandelaroChildren get root canals in order to preserve the tooth for when the adult teeth start coming in. It's not as invasive as adult root canal, and not nearly as expensive--you're not trying to save the tooth for a lifetime, just for a year or two until the adult teeth come in and need that space. 

When baby teeth are lost prematurely, the remaining teeth move to fill in that space, and the future adult teeth don't have a 'space' saved for them--cue thousands of dollars in orthodontia. It's much less expensive, less invasive and less painful when root canals are done on children--provided that they're done in an office that has reasonable procedures for sedation dentistry.  

The new tooth won't turn black, and won't need a crown. Seriously, why would you think that? There's nothing to affect a new tooth that's still growing in the jaw. 

Eng.Rody
Eng.Rody

@rutoft64  

I'll share with you my twin 3 years daughters story. One of them got recently several deep cavities and the other has no single one!!!

I took her to 3 paediatric dentists and all of them say she need 4 root canals and several fillings. This will cost me around 3000 $ in addition to 1000 for the IV sedition.

They told Iv sedition is safer and done by the speciality Dr.

Just I would like to alert that kids teeth resistance are not the same. This answer several concerns raised here regarding the girl teeths deterioration.

Shall I go with the IV sedition Procedure??



Openminded1
Openminded1

@sonoffabeach never heard of a 3 year old needing even 1 root canal, unless it was a meth baby. Sounds like the dentist wanted to make some money. This needs a complete investigation into the dentist practice and former patients.

RmbfKids
RmbfKids

@TimeThoughtsPlease go to our website and download rmbfinc dot org  - you can download free resources that will assist with making sure your dental office is prepared for medical emergencies. Will keep you and your daughter in our thoughts as she has her procedure done on Tuesday.

eagle11772
eagle11772

@TimeThoughts I agree.  I remember a similar case a few years ago where I am from on Long Island.  A young boy was scared to death of the dentist, but his mother assured him everything would be ok, and brought him to the dentist.  He died in the dentist's chair when the dentist gave him an improper type of anesthetic.  Apparently the young boy's fears were quite obviously justified. 

eagle11772
eagle11772

@Openminded1  Since she seems obviously qualified for the position of "OBAMACARE Navigator", let her do that !

robh0629bigbrother
robh0629bigbrother

@Openminded1 @sonoffabeach Wow, I can't believe the ignorance of so many people.  Please, get dentally educated before showing the world your complete lack of any dental knowledge.  Dentists spend years obtaining an education and most tirelessly help patients maintain and fix their dentition in an attempt to keep the patients healthy.  Pulpectomies and pulpotomies on deciduous (baby) teeth is not a highly profitable procedure that is done to "make money."  The procedure is performed in an attempt to keep primary teeth because these teeth need to be maintained to hold space/position for the adult teeth which will not erupt until about the age of 11. 

robh0629bigbrother
robh0629bigbrother

@eagle11772 @TimeThoughts Yes, the mother of the patient was a nurse and knew her son's medical condition but conveniently did not disclose the information to the dentist.  Patient had  greater than 85% artery blockage.  Please don't comment on half truths and missing facts.


RmbfKids
RmbfKids

@eagle11772 do you remember what year and town the little boy was in? I track all pediatric dental deaths and I'm unaware of a child passing on Long Island. While I live in VA now I was born and raised on LI, Holbrook to be exact.

rutoft64
rutoft64

@eagle11772 @Openminded1 Now how did the President get in on this ? Must be a Tea-Party Republican out there. The President is trying to save lives of little children that may otherwise die because of no health care. The question is do the Tea-Party Republicans care ??? 

eagle11772
eagle11772

@RmbfKids  btw, I lived in Patchogue for 25 years, until moving here 2 years ago to the warm, sunny climes of southern Arizona. :)

eagle11772
eagle11772

@RmbfKids  For some inexplicable reason I have always remembered this case.  I'm 99% sure it was Dr. Lynn Pierri in Hauppauge.

rutoft64
rutoft64

(obviously qualified for the position of "OBAMACARs) | That is how the President got into this. Well you got one out of two right and that is not bad. Oh just what is a bleeding  heart Liberal. I have tried to look it in the new-world dictionary


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