Catastrophic Brain Injury at Dental Office
An area preschooler suffered a serious brain injury during a seemingly routine trip to a local dental office.
The 4-year-old girl visited a dental office in Houston to have several decaying teeth treated. Then, according to documents filed with the Texas Board of Dental Examiners, the girl went into convulsions after being sedated. Instead of calling for emergency personnel, the dentist allegedly administered Halcion; in fact, it was “several hours” before emergency responders arrived on scene. Doctors believe her injury to be permanent, and according to her mother, the girl can “follow voices sometimes but she can’t look directly at a person anymore.” The girl received treatment in four different hospitals, and is now in a physical rehabilitation center.
The dentist was disciplined in 2005 for failing to meet the “minimum standard of care,” and again in 2012 for falling “below the minimum standard of care in the sedation of a minor.” A license revocation hearing is pending.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are at least partially responsible for about 30 percent of injury-related deaths. Moreover, while overall hospitalization rates have increased only 11 percent, TBI-related hospital visits have skyrocketed 70 percent over the last decade.
Males under 14 and over 65 are the most at-risk groups, but anyone can be a victim. Some common TBI causes include:
Motor Vehicle Crashes: A vehicle stops moving at the moment of contact, but the things inside the car keep moving at the same speed. So, cellphones and other loose objects become high-speed projectiles.
Falls/Struck By: Older adults are vulnerable to falls, and children are likely to collide with table corners and other fixed objects. In both these groups, a relatively small amount of force can cause permanent injury.
Loud Noises: Researchers theorize that explosive blasts and other sudden loud noises cause shock waves that disrupt brain activity.
Medical Malpractice: A few moments of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) during birth can cause permanent brain damage, as can improperly administered medication and other preventable errors.
TBI victims typically suffer from both mental and emotional symptoms, like personality changes and severe depression, and physical symptoms, like loss of coordination and even paralysis. Because of the lifelong effects of these injuries, victims are often entitled to significant compensation for their past economic losses, future economic losses, and noneconomic losses.
For prompt assistance in this area, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney. You have a limited amount of time to act.