Cause determined in young patient's death

A 6-year-old Virginia boy who died after undergoing anesthesia for a dental procedure died of an irregular heartbeat caused by removal of the breathing tube, according to the state medical examiner's office.

Jacobi Hill underwent sedation May 11 at the Virginia Commonwealth University Dental Faculty Practice in Richmond prior to having crowns put on several of his teeth. The child went into cardiac arrest shortly after the procedure was complete and the breathing tube removed, his mother, Crystal Lewis, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The boy had asthma but no other known health problems, Lewis said. A pediatrician had examined him the day before and said he was fine to undergo the procedure, she said.

The manner of Jacobi's death was "natural" and the cause of death was "cardiac dysrhythmia due to endotracheal extubation," according to the medical examiner's office.

The boy is one of four pediatric patients who have died in the past 15 months in the U.S. after undergoing sedation prior to dental treatment.

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