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3-year-old in vegetative state after dental procedure goes wrong

A little girl goes to visit a dentist in Kailua, Hawaii, as hundreds of people throughout the islands do every day. Instead of going home with some cavities filled, she went to a hospital, and is now in a persistent, vegetative state, suffering from irreversible brain damage.

Now, a month after the horrific events, her parents are don't expect her to last much longer. They are suing the dentist for negligence and medical malpractice, alleging the wrong drugs were given to the little girl in the wrong dosages. That misconduct led directly to her severe brain damage.

The girl was at the dentist to have six fillings and four root canals. It was during the root canal procedure that she was given medication and left sedated for 26 minutes with no monitoring. She suffered a cardiac arrest and severe brain damage.

Apparently, when it was finally discovered something had gone wrong with the girl, the office had no plan or procedures to deal with the medical emergency. 

When medical malpractice or negligence occurs, everyday routine medical procedures can turn dangerous and deadly. A minor treatment or procedure can result in the death of a patient.

This is every parent and patient's nightmare. We trust our doctors and dentists with our children and our own lives, and we expect they will provide required the standard of care. When they fail, the consequences can be a minor inconvenience or an overwhelming catastrophe.

The death of any child is tragic, but when the death is caused by such clear negligence, it is all the more heartbreaking. 

Source: CNN.com, "Parents accuse Hawaii dentist of leaving daughter, 3, with brain damage," Khushbu Shah and Chelsea J. Carter, January 3, 2014

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