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4-Year-Old Dies After Routine Dental Procedure

A four-year-old boy from Washington died Friday after what was supposed to be a routine dental procedure that involved a dose of anesthesia.

Mykel Peterson, a patient at Must Love Kids dental practice in Vancouver, had autism and had difficulty keeping his mouth open during his dental appointments, Fox News reports. Thmeka Curry, the boy’s mother, said, “He wouldn’t keep his mouth open so they can actually see what’s going on.”

The dental clinic specializes in treating kids with developmental issues, and a board-certified anesthesiologist administers the shots. According to local media reports, Mykel was given a dose of Ketamine, a common anesthesia drug, so that he would be sedated while the dentist checked his teeth.

Curry said,

The dentist was telling me everything she did with his teeth, and she was going to check to see if he was awake yet.

The anesthesiologist had told her that Mykel was given an extra dose to make sure he did not wake up during the procedure.

“The anesthesiologist started to check his pulse and was shaking him and at this point I am still not aware anything happened to my son,” Curry said. She was in the waiting room at the time.

Staff members at the clinic began administering CPR, and an emergency response team was called in. Mykel was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

A medical examiner is currently looking into the cause of death, and a toxicology reports will not be ready for at least eight weeks.

The family is now seeking answers. “For me right now, it’s more of I just need to know what happened,” Curry told KATU. “So I can have that closure for my son. That’s it,” Curry said.

Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry said in a statement that it is too early to comment on the case, but reiterated that in the past three years, they have performed routine dentistry procedures on children who have been deeply sedated and general anesthesia over a thousand times with no incidents.

The statement said, “We contract with an independent, highly qualified and experienced board-certified anesthesiologist for anesthesia services who follow strict protocols, including a pre-operative checkup and clearance by the child’s primary physician prior to the procedure.”

There is a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Mykel’s funeral.

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