Family Claims Medical Malpractice After Child Dies From Sudden Respiratory Arrest, Part 2 of 2

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Ramon’s parents and sister sued Dentistry for Children and Adolescents, Aarons, Anders and Maker, alleging professional negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Before trial, the sister dismissed her cause of action, and the office, Anders and Maker were dismissed. The case went to trial against Aarons.

Plaintiffs’ counsel argued that the registered dental assistants failed to alert Aarons to the fact that Ramon was nonresponsive. Aarons was 10 feet away when this occurred and one of the registered dental assistants went by Aarons on his way to call 911, but didn’t alert Aarons to the situation. The dentist office has 02 under pressure, oxygen masks and crash carts with epinephrine, which were all items Aarons was trained to use. If Aarons had been called, he would have employed the appropriate emergency equipment that would have saved Ramon’s life, plaintiffs’ counsel contended.

The plaintiff registered dental assistant expert testified that a dental assistant should have alerted Aarons that there was a nonresponsive patient by intercom or in person and brought him back to the room to administer CPR or use the ambu-bag as he was trained to do. The expert testified that either registered dental assistant had the duty to prevent, without physical restraint, the plaintiffs from leaving the practice with Ramon after 911 had been called.

The plaintiff pediatric neurology expert testified that it was more likely than not that if CPR had been administered to Ramon at the office, he would have survived.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

On cross examination, the plaintiff pediatric neurologist testified that Ramon was so fragile at the time of his death that he could have died from respiratory arrest in the backseat of his parents’ car on the way to the dentist’s office or on a play date.

The defense registered dental assistant expert opined that there was no breach of the standard of care by the registered dental assistants, who were reacting to an emergency situation of unknown origin which had never been presented to them before. The registered dental assistants were correct in calling 911 before alerting Aarons and had no duty to prevent or restrain Ramon’s mother from leaving the office. The defense pediatric neurologist testified that Ramon had a vaso-vagal reaction while in the dentist’s chair and would not have responded to CPR. He stated that Ramon’s lung capacity and volume were so low that he was at risk for sudden death due to respiratory arrest at any time.

His parents — William Varlere and Terri Varlere — were seeking damages for wrongful death. Varlere presented a separate cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress. These damages are capped at $250,000 each.

At the end of trial, plaintiffs’ counsel waived economic damages.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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