An elderly Ohio man shot himself at the dentist’s office after mistaking a pistol for his phone while under the influence of nitrous oxide, according to ABC affiliate WKRN-TV.
James White, a 72-year-old man living in Clark County, Ohio, went to the New Carlisle Dental Group for a routine dental check up this past week. As is the common practice, his dentist put him under the influence of nitrous oxide, also known as the laughing gas, which is used to sedate patients before certain procedures. The effects of nitrous oxide include light-headedness and a general tingling in arms and legs. But sometimes, as it turned out in White’s case, laughing gas can also prove dangerous, especially when it is administered when patients are carrying their guns with them.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the Ohio man’s phone rang while he was sitting in the dental chair. Feeling woozy, the septuagenarian grabbed his pistol instead of his phone and fired off a round that struck his hand and grazed the left side of his stomach.
It all happened so quickly, according to the staff of the dental clinic, that it took them a while to comprehend how White had managed to shoot himself. “Shaken-up” at the unexpected turn of events, the staff at the hospital immediately called 911, telling the dispatcher that the patient had accidentally shot himself while being treated under the influence of nitrous oxide, reports Metro.
“He was in the chair, and he was doing his filling, and I’m not for sure what happened. He got his gun and I don’t know,” the staffer reportedly told the dispatcher.
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) September 1, 2016
The Ohio man was soon carried to a nearby hospital where he was treated for the self-inflicted wound. He later told police officers that he was reaching for his phone when he accidentally grabbed his gun and accidentally fired it.
Sgt. Christina Evans-Fisher of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the Ohio man had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, although she claimed that the patient might be charged with using weapons while intoxicated, according to the Daily Mail.
“Going to a doctor’s office where you might possibly be placed under some kind of medication that may alter your mental status at the point, you might not want to carry a weapon in there at that time.
“So think about your safety and the safety of the people around you.”
As a result of the unintended shooting, the New Carlisle Dental Group is now considering banning patients from bringing weapons inside the clinic. The staff at the dental clinic also said that they were unaware that White was carrying a pistol when he came for the routine check-up.
— Jay Edwards (@JayEdwardsWrnj) September 2, 2016
The bizarre incident elicited a range of reactions from the residents living near the dental facility, as well as from observers on social media. While some people said that the dental clinic should prohibit its patients from carrying arms under any circumstances, most people blamed the Ohio man for carrying his gun when he knew that he was going to be administered nitrous oxide.
“If you’re going to be put under nitrous, then you think twice about taking your gun into the dental office,” said a resident near the facility.
As dangerous as nitrous oxide can sometimes be for children, with previous deaths having been reported because of an overdose of the gas, this is perhaps the first time that a dental patient has put his life in peril under its influence.
Even worse, the elderly Ohio man could now be charged, and for that, he would have nobody but himself to blame.
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