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Pediatr Dent. 2012 May-Jun;34(3):231-8.

Adverse events during pediatric dental anesthesia and sedation: a review of closed malpractice insurance claims.

Author information

1
College of Dentistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study of closed malpractice insurance claims was to provide descriptive data of adverse events related to child sedation and anesthesia in the dental office.

METHODS:

The malpractice claims databases of two professional liability carriers were searched using pre-determined keywords for all closed claims involving anesthesia in pediatric dental patients from 1993-2007.

RESULTS:

The database searches resulted in 17 claims dealing with adverse anesthesia events of which 13 involved sedation, 3 involved local anesthesia alone, and 1 involved general anesthesia. Fifty-three percent of the claims involved patient death or permanent brain damage; in these claims, the average patient age was 3.6 years, 6 involved general dentists as the anesthesia provider, and 2 involved local anesthesia alone. Local anesthetic overdoses were observed in 41% of the claims. The location of adverse event occurrence was in the dental office where care was being provided in 71% of the claims. Of the 13 claims involving sedation, only 1 claim involved the use of physiologic monitoring.

CONCLUSIONS:

Very young patients (≤ 3-years-old) are at greatest risk during administration of sedative and/or local anesthetic agents. Some practitioners are inadequately monitoring patients during sedation procedures. Adverse events have a high chance of occurring at the dental office where care is being provided.

PMID:
22795157
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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