Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Dentistry and Death: More Laws or More Education?

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Editor’s Note: Last week, we asked whether the use of birth control is a patient safety risk because of possible development of blood clots. In this post, the question is – do we need more laws or more education to help prevent anesthesia-related deaths in dental procedures and oral surgery.

Most people would not associate dentistry with death – discomfort perhaps – but not death.

However, the death of Caleb Sears forces us to consider the possibility of death in dentistry – or, more accurately, oral surgery:

Caleb Sears was a healthy six-year-old living in the Bay Area. He was in his first year of elementary school and just starting to read and write. He loved playing with his little sister, climbing trees, singing Les Miserables, and making up funny stories about llamas and time machines. Read More

Must Reads, Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

2 Lessons from the Death of 9-Year Old Solomon Womack from Tonsillectomy

MSN reports in a recent article, “Boy, 9, Dies After Undergoing Routine Tonsil Removal” that “Solomon Womack of Milwaukee was pronounced dead Friday, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. Days earlier, he’d reportedly undergone a tonsillectomy.”

As CBS Milwaukee reported, the 9-year old “was given a dose of Oxycodone, then sent home. Later that evening, Solomon’s parents gave him another prescription dose of Oxycodone and noticed about an hour later that he was having trouble breathing. The parents called 911, and the boy was brought to Children’s Hospital. He was pronounced brain dead days later.” Read More