Young Arizona boy dies after dental procedure
More than a year after a young boy died following a dental clinic visit, the family is trying to hold the clinic and medical professionals responsible. According to ABC 15, two-year-old Zion Gastelum diedon Dec. 20, 2017, after a dental treatment at Kool Smiles clinic.
He came in for crowns
Zion was at Kool Smiles to get crowns for some severe cavities. While there, he was put under anesthesia. The young boy became unresponsive after leaving, and his family took him to the hospital. He died four days later.
The suit alleges he was left alone in the recovery room
His family has now filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. The suit alleges a Kool Smiles staff member turned off an alarm that was monitoring Zion's pulse and oxygen levels. The young boy was also alleged left alone in the recovery room, and the oxygen tank he was hooked up to was not functioning properly. The suit also accuses the anesthesiologist of acting improperly, placing Zion in a dental chair with another patient who was intubated.
Kool Smiles is accused of not monitoring kids properly
The family also claims that Kool Smiles tries to maximize productivity, which gives staff insufficient time to monitor children.
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the boy's death had an undetermined cause.
Kool Smiles recently settled a false claims suit
Kool Smiles has faced other claims of impropriety. In 2018, the dental company settled with the Department of Justice amid allegations the clinics had submitted claims for uncompleted procedures.
To prove a medical malpractice case, you must demonstrate a medical professional violated the standard of care. The standard of care is the level of treatment that another health care practitioner would provide in the same circumstances. Typically, another medical professional testifies that the standard was not upheld. Then you must show the lack of care led to the patient's injury or death.
If you or a loved one have suffered a medical injury, you can pursue legal action against the negligent health care provider. You have the right to hold medical professionals accountable for their actions.