A Connecticut dentist refused to halt a procedure even as a 64-year-old patient flatlined in the operating chair during a 20-tooth extraction, according to newly reported documents.
Rashmi Patel's license was suspended last month after the botched operation on Judith Gan in February sparked an investigation, according to the Hartford Courant.
From the Courant:
Inspectors with the state Department of Public Health said Patel ignored the patient's deteriorating condition and did not respond when changes in her oxygen levels and vital signs were reported to him by the dental assistants. The patient had an extensive medical history, including cardiac problems. During the procedure, the low-oxygen alarm went off repeatedly and the patient was making gurgling sounds before she stopped breathing, the records state.
"The assistant begged (Patel) to stop working, and finally ran out and called 911, but the patient had already flat-lined,'' the DPH inspectors said in the court documents.
WFSB reports that Gan's death certificate lists her cause of death as "pending further studies" but a doctor asked to look into her case by the Connecticut Department of Public Health blamed Patel.
"It's my belief that (Gan) did not have to die to receive this dental treatment and it is because of… Patel's negligence that she died," Dr. Gary Pearl wrote.
In a separate story, WFSB spoke to a former Patel employee.
"It's a shame a woman lost her life to bring this out, and it took so long," Dawn Henry, a former dental assistant who worked for Patel at his Torrington office, said. "His practices, in my opinion, were too far. I was told it wasn't my place to recommend or tell him what he should be doing because he's the one with the degree."
Patel will have his case heard before the Connecticut State Dental Commission on June 18.
The Courant spoke to his attorney who said his client denies all the allegations.