SAN DIEGO, July 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — How does a 5-year-old child end up unconscious and unresponsive following a routine dental procedure? On Friday, July 14, 2023, after two days of deliberations, a San Diego jury reached a verdict of $3,550,000, and according to Attorney Robert Vaage, a San Diego medical malpractice attorney who represented the child, the jury found that A. Hernandez suffered a hypoxic brain injury from oversedation by a combination of oral conscious sedation medication used during a dental procedure at Rose Dental Group.
The jury found that Mahtab Saadatmandi, D.M.D., the owner of Rose Dental Group in Escondido, California, was negligent in the management and supervision of dental services to A. Hernandez and violated the law. The jury awarded $2,050,00 for future lost earnings and future medical and related expenses. They also awarded an additional $1,500,000 for past and future non-economic loss, including physical pain and mental suffering.
A. Hernandez’s mother, concerned about her son right after the procedure, took him directly to the emergency room. On the way to the emergency room, he lost consciousness. The emergency room doctors were initially unable to revive him, even using painful stimuli. They called the dental office and learned what drugs he had been given. When they administered the antidote, the child woke up screaming.
“Something is wrong.” Plaintiff’s mother started noticing behavior and academic problems with her son. He was wetting the bed, hitting himself, and waking from night terrors. He was falling further and further behind in his classes. A neuropsychologist expert tested him and found multiple cognitive problems, all in areas of the brain associated with lack of oxygen.
“This was a difficult case, especially since the child had no findings on a neurologic exam. The brain injury was proven by circumstantial evidence based on school records, behavioral records, and witness testimony of how the child changed after the conscious sedation,” Vaage added. “The jury got it right.”
Vaage explained to the jury how the California legislature recognized the need for a safety system and created laws and regulations for the use of oral conscious sedation drugs in dental procedures. This safety system includes monitoring vital signs, taking a medical history, performing pre- and post-sedation assessments, notation of the patient’s condition at discharge, and recording the rationale for sedation. The jury found that Saadatmandi violated these laws.
“Something I didn’t know before this case was that DentiCal pays more for ‘behavior management’ than ‘conscious sedation,’ almost six times more.” Vaage acknowledged. “Here, the biller at Rose Dental admitted to making up diagnoses based on a Google search to justify the behavioral management billing code for the plaintiff. I’m still shocked.”
SOURCE Vaage Law