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Illinois teen dies from root canal surgery, dental chain sued

In February 2011, an Illinois teen underwent a routine root canal surgery at a dentist office in Blue Island after losing a tooth filling. Several days after the operation, the teen died. He was only 17.

Last month, it was reported that a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the victim. After the teen died, it was discovered that the routine dental procedure had not been performed correctly and as a result, the patient contracted a deadly infection.

The lawsuit states that the teen lost a filling and visited a Chicago-area dental chain to fix the problem. It is now believed that the dentist who had performed the dental operation had not performed the surgery safely. The lawsuit also points out that the dental office had not been as sterile as it should have been to prevent serious infections from spreading.

The teen’s root canal was performed on Feb. 1, 2011. On Feb. 8, the teen was hospitalized after complaining of feeling very ill. The teen, who was a senior in high school, died of sepsis the day after he was hospitalized.

The lawsuit claims that the infection could have been prevented had the dental office used sterile equipment and performed the operation correctly. Instead, the dentist who performed the operation had used the wrong equipment during the root canal procedure and also failed to drain and fill the tooth properly in order to prevent an infection. This negligence allowed the toxic infection to spread, which killed the teen within 10 days of the operation.

Experts have stated that root canals should never result in infections when properly performed.

Medical malpractice is harmful and can be deadly. Although families can never undo what has already been done to a loved one, families can take legal action to protect their rights and to make sure negligent medical professionals are held accountable for their dangerous mistakes.

Source: Southtown Star, “Suit filed over Blue Island teen’s death after root canal,” Nov. 21, 2012


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