Title

Ethics Rounds: Death After Pediatric Dental Anesthesia: An Avoidable Tragedy?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2017

Identifier

DOI: 10.1542/peds.2017-2370

Abstract

Early childhood caries (ECC) is the single most common chronic childhood disease. In the treatment of ECC, children are often given moderate sedation or general anesthesia. An estimated 100 000 to 250 000 pediatric dental sedations are performed annually in the United States. The most common medications are benzodiazepines, opioids, local anesthetics, and nitrous oxide. All are associated with serious adverse events, including hypoxemia, respiratory depression, airway obstruction, and death. There is no mandated reporting of adverse events or deaths, so we don't know how often these occur. In this article, we present a case of a death after dental anesthesia and ask experts to speculate on how to improve the quality and safety of both the prevention and treatment of ECC.

Journal Title

Pediatrics

Volume

140

Issue

6

MeSH Keywords

Anesthesia, Dental; Child, Preschool; Dental Caries; Fatal Outcome; Humans; Male; Pain

Keywords

Anesthesia, Dental; Child, Preschool; Dental Caries; Fatal Outcome; Humans; Male; Pain

Share

COinS