Anesthesia Gone Wrong: Routine Dental Procedure Kills 14-Month-Old Texas Girl

By Samantha Finch, Parent Herald July 15, 04:40 am
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Daisy Lynn Torres, the 14-month-old toddler who died in March during a routine dental procedure, was confirmed to have suffered complications of anesthesia administered to her during the treatment. The child, who hailed from Austin, Texas, was halfway through her treatment at the Austin Children's Dentistry when the anesthesia complication occurred.

Details Of The Case

The news was confirmed to People by the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office. After informing Torres' mother, Betty Squier, of the complication, the child was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead after a few hours. Torres' sudden death left her family "in a state of shock and confusion."

The Austin Children's Dentistry said they know about the risks of administering anesthesia to young patients, but described Torres' death as "particularly tragic," People further reported. Squier, meanwhile, said she was told by the dental office that sedating young children during procedures is common and safe.

A dental crown is an installed cap that covers the tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and improve its exterior. Dental crown procedures normally take two separate appointments with dentists, Colgate noted.

In April, Squier said in a separate interview with People that she talked to the office's contracted anesthesiologist prior to Torres' procedure. According to Squier, the anesthesiologist said "the procedure would be very quick" and she would see the child "soon."

Squier warned other parents to be proactive when it comes to preventing their children from forming cavities. She also advised other parents to research the dentists and anesthesiologists they consult for their kids, and if possible, get second opinions from other medical practitioners.

Risks Of Anesthesia On Children

Dr. Robert Delarosa, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, said general anesthesia is used on children because they tend to fidget while in dentist chairs, making them prone to accidents and damage during medical procedures. However, Delarosa also stressed that general anesthesia "should be avoided if possible, unless a condition requires it and it is the safest route," People further reported.

General anesthesia is administered to around 6 million children in the United States, including 1.5 million babies under one year old, according to Slate. General anesthesia's serious side effects are cognitive dysfunction or post-operative delirium and malignant hyperthermia. The latter is potentially deadly, the American Society of Anesthesiologists wrote.

A study released last year titled "Cognition and Brain Structure Following Early Childhood Surgery With Anesthesia" found that anesthesia can induce cell death and brain damage. That study, however, put immature animals under anesthesia for long hours. This means that the same effects will likely not occur in children, given that they were only under anesthesia for an average of 37 minutes.

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