Hawaii officials investigate child's dental death

Hawaiian officials have started an investigation of an Oahu dentist whose 3-year-old patient died after the girl was sedated with different drugs during an extensive dental procedure.

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is investigating dentist Lilly Geyer, DMD, who performed a root canal procedure on Finley Boyle on December 3, according to an Associated Press story.

The girl went into cardiac arrest after being sedated with Demerol, hydroxyzine, chloral hydrate, and nitrous oxide by a technician, according to attorney, Rick Fried. She died January 3.

Her parents have filed a lawsuit alleging negligence and dangerous conduct against Dr. Geyer, Island Dentistry for Children, and unidentified staff members, claiming the child was not monitored during the procedure.

Dr. Geyer has closed her practice, and her attorney has declined to comment on the case.

Ashley Boyle, Finley's mother, said that after an initial dental visit with Dr. Geyer, her daughter was diagnosed with 10 cavities and needed four baby root canals. A exam by another dentist while the girl was comatose in the hospital showed she had just a few cavities, Fried said.

The 38-lb child was given maximum doses of Demerol and hydroxyzine and 40% more than the maximum of chloral hydrate for a child her size, if just one of the drugs was administered, he said.

Records show that the child's oxygen levels weren't monitored for 26 minutes -- instead of every five minutes – and her oxygen saturation level fell from normal to 65% or less, Fried said.

The girl's father said an MRI showed that the girl suffered a lack of oxygen for at least five minutes.

Ashley Boyle said that nobody in the office administered CPR when her daughter went into cardiac arrest and that a pediatrician down the hall was called to help.

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