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Dental visit leads to endocarditis for 15 patients

Going to the dentist is something that many people dread. For many people, this is because they just don't like having to sit in the chair and have someone do things in their mouth. For others, the fear of harm is what makes them want to stay as far away from dentists as possible. A recent case in a neighboring state might have some people thinking twice before going to the dentist.

Fifteen patients who visited one dentist from December of 2012 through August of 2014 and who had IV sedation for oral surgery have come down with endocarditis, which is an infection that targets the heart valves and chambers. Twelve of those patients had to have surgery. One patient died from the complications. Despite that horror, and the fact that the infections were linked to the dentist, the dentist has been allowed to continue practicing because of a consent order signed last month.

The cases of endocarditis seem to come from surgical procedures that were performed by the dentist. Back in November of 2014, health inspectors noted that there multiple safety breaches occurring at the facility. A follow-up in January of the next year found that there were still issues.

One issue of note is that unwrapped syringes were being used. Other issues is that there were single vials of medications that were used for more than one patient, and that non-sterile products were being used.

Stories like this shock people, but not any more than the shock that the victims experience. If you have suffered from dental malpractice, you might decide that you need to take action to hold the dentist accountable for the problems.

Source: Fox 5 New York, "NJ dentist linked to 15 heart infections, 1 death," Aug. 17, 2016

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