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Dental Malpractice Lawsuit Alleges Girl Left Brain Dead From Sedatives

The family of a four year old girl who suffered brain damage following a botched dental visit plan on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the dentist, whose license has been suspended since the incident. 

The family of Nevaeh Hall indicate that the child has lost the ability to talk, walk and much of her vision has been lost after she was given too many sedatives during a visit to Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson’s Diamond Dentistry practice in Houston.

According to a report by CBSNews.com, the family will soon file a lawsuit alleging dental malpractice caused the injuries.

A license suspension report (PDF) issued by the Texas Board of Dental Examiners indicates that the little girl began suffering seizures after Jefferson sedated her. Instead of calling emergency personnel, Jefferson tried to treat the seizures herself by giving the child Halcion.

The review found that despite alarming vital signs, Jefferson tried to treat her for more than seven hours and gave her five different sedatives. The board noted that Jefferson had made a similar error in sedating a child in August 2012.

“Respondent’s failure to meet the standard of care in the dental treatment and sedation of the minor patient at issue in this complaint and her previous disciplinary action related to the sedation of a minor patient constitute a pattern of practice that may place her patients at continued risk of serious harm,” the board determined, saying that Jefferson had failed to meet the appropriate standards of care during the procedure.

The temporary suspension went into effect on January 20, and the board will hold a hearing on whether her license should be permanently revoked at the end of the month.

Navaeh is now in an in-patient rehabilitation facility going through hours of occupational, physical and speech therapy. It is unclear how much she will be able to recover.

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