Parents sue dental office for death of 3-year-old boy

2021 04 08 23 44 2319 Ambulance 400

The parents of a 3-year-old boy who died following a dental procedure in Wichita, KS, are suing the dentist, the dental office, the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and the anesthesia company involved in the case, according to an article on

Angel Zapata and Nancy Valenzuela of Scott City are the parents of Abiel Zapata Valenzuela, who died in early July, the news station reported.

Before the appointment in Wichita, Nancy took Abiel to two dental offices in southwest Kansas and was told he would need to have some teeth removed because of a gum infection, KSN reported. She then searched for the safest, most appropriate dental office for her son and chose Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry in Wichita, according to the lawsuit.

During Abiel's procedure, the nurse anesthetist observed swelling after the administration of lidocaine. The CRNA then intubated the patient, fearing airway compromise.

Minutes before 8 a.m., the CRNA alerted the team that Abel had an irregular heart rhythm and inadequate ventilation, according to a timeline of events posted by KSN. At 8 a.m., the team observed no pulse, prompting them to call 911 and begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Shortly after emergency services arrived, the ambulance took Abiel to a hospital where he died.

In a statement to KSN, Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry said the office was "devastated" by the loss of Abiel but "disappointed" that the family filed the lawsuit prematurely.

"Like Abiel's family, we, too, want to know exactly what caused this child's death," the office said in the statement.

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