Taking a trip to the dentist is something no one looks forward to. As a matter of fact, most people dread the trip. While the overall experience isn’t always a botch job, there are some incidents that give dentists a bad rap – like this one!
On Monday Apr. 21, the Connecticut Department of Public Health opted to suspend the dental license of an Enfield dentist, Dr. Rashmi Patel. According to Journal Inquirer, the decision follows a series of medical issues and problems caused by dental procedures performed by Patel. However, the untimely death of Patel’s patient, Judith Gan, led to his suspension.
According to New York Daily News, the 64-year-old was scheduled to have bone graphs, multiple extractions and implants put in place. To be more specific, she was going to have a total of 20 teeth removed in one visit. Once Dr. Patel began the procedure, Gan’s oxygen level and vital signs gradually declined. Two of his assistants cited the problem and begged him to stop the procedure.
The regulatory reports stated that Patel failed to “properly respond to J.G.’s oxygen desaturation and/or respiratory distress and/or cardiopulmonary distress.” Unfortunately, he forged on until she became eventually flat-lined and stopped breathing. She was immediately rushed to the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA where she was later pronounced dead.
Michael Kogut, Patel’s attorney, released a brief statement in his defense where he referred to the state investigation as “flawed”.
“(Patel) is highly skilled and respected in the field of sedation dentistry. The record is clear that these allegations and what has been reported are not founded in accuracy or fact, even to the point that this arbitrary action was taken against Dr. Patel before the cause of death was determined. The Department of Public Health has again acted outside its limitations.”
However, inspectors and dental regulators with the state Department of Public Health cited that Patel completely ignored the woman’s “deteriorating condition” when his assistants informed him of the notable changes.
During the procedure, the low-oxygen alarm went off repeatedly and the patient was making gurgling sounds before she stopped breathing, the records state.
Patel is the owner of Dr. Patel’s Enfield Family Dental at 71 Hazard Ave. He has been certified as a practicing dentist in the state for nearly 11 years. In addition to Gan’s death, the health department revealed that Dr. Patel was already under scrutiny due to a botched procedure he performed back in December of 2013. That particular patient was hospitalized for six days as a result of the procedure.
Dr. Patel has a hearing scheduled to appear before the Connecticut State Dental Commission on June 18.
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