A Houston family is preparing to sue their daughter’s dentist after the 4-year-old allegedly suffered severe brain damage following an appointment.
KHOU.com reported that Nevaeh Hall, a repeat patient at Diamond Dental, suffered multiple seizures during a visit that her family’s attorneys say were caused by the use of too many sedatives and an often controversial restraint device. The girl saw the dentist to get some of her teeth removed and capped due to decay.
"In essence what happened is this child was chemically and physically suffocated,” Jim Moriarty, the Halls’ attorney, told KHOU.com. "This child suffered massive brain damage during that time period, and that didn't have to happen."
A papoose, the device the dentist used, confines the patient’s arms and legs so they cannot interfere with the procedure. Courissa Clark, Nevaeh’s mother, said she and her husband were told to stay in the waiting room during the girl’s appointment. It had been Navaeh’s third visit to the dentist’s office, which is run by Bethaniel Jefferson. According to KHOU.com, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners has fined and reprimanded Bethaniel at least twice before.
KHOU.com reported that records reviewed by an independent dentist show Navaeh was “sedated in the office for over seven hours, given five sedatives for a routine dental procedure that should have been done and over by mid-morning.”
Those records suggest that, during the procedure, Nevaeh’s heart rate increased to 195 beats per minute, her blood pressure rose to 168/77, and her oxygen dropped as low as 86 percent.
“I can tell you that this chart shows you that this child was essentially tortured,” Moriarty told KHOU.com.
"They never did call it a seizure,” Clark said during a news conference Thursday, according to KHOU.com. “They just said shaking, she's shaking. Just the whole time they assured us that everything was OK. And the next time we were allowed to come in is when the paramedics were actually coming back. And that was about four hours later."
Following Navaeh’s injury, Jefferson’s license has been temporarily suspended, KHOU.com reported.
Navaeh's family has started a GoFundMe page to help cover her care.