Four-Year-Old Girl Suffers Brain Damage After Going To Dentist

navaeh-facebookA four-year-old girl can no longer walk, talk, eat or see after a trip to the dentist to have a tooth removed.

Nevaeh Hall, four, was a healthy little girl two months ago, when her parents took her to Diamond Dentistry in Houston, Texas to have a few teeth capped and pulled due to decay.

READ: The 4-1-1 On Dental Emergencies

But how does that happen?

While they waited in the waiting room for hours, their little girl started having seizures but her dentist, Dr Bethaniel Jefferson, didn’t raise the alarm and decided to treat her herself instead of calling 911.
Little Nevaeh ended up leaving the routine appointment in an ambulance, and has now been hospitalized for severe brain damage.

At a press conference, Nevaeh’s mother Courissa Clark said she was threatening to sue the practice and Dr Jefferson for the botched procedure. The girl’s dentist, Dr Bethaniel Jefferson, has since had her medical license suspended.

She also warned other parents against a restraint device the dentist used to keep her daughter from flailing about during the procedure. That flailing could have warned the dentist or at least given them a clue that something was wrong earlier in the procedure.

READ: Parents Of Brain Dead Child Say That She’s Still Alive And Showing Signs of Improvement

The device, called a papoose, covers small children like a cocoon essentially limiting a patients movements during a dental procedure.

navaeh after procedure courtesy abc news

Navaho after procedure, blind and unable to walk, talk or eat on her own. (Photo courtesy of ABC news video screen shot)

An attorney for the family revealed that Dr Jefferson administered five sedatives to the 30-pound child during the seven-hour procedure. Four hours of that procedure were spent in the papoose!

The papoose is most commonly used during dental work, venipuncture, and other medical procedures. It is also sometimes used during medical emergencies to keep an individual from moving when total sedation is not possible. It is usually used on patients as a means of temporarily and safely limiting movement and is generally more effective than holding the person down. It is mostly used on young patients and patients with special needs.

Although approved in the United States, in some countries the papoose is banned and considered a serious breach of ethical practice. Although the papoose board is discussed as a behavior management technique- it is simply a restraint technique thus preventing any behavior from occurring that could be managed with recognized behavioral and anxiety reduction techniques.

While the papoose board is promoted as safe and a way to avoid risk, psychological and physical harm can and does occur – including death.

About two hours into the procedure, Clark says she heard her daughter crying so she went into the room to see how she was doing. At that point she wasn’t in the papoose yet, but she could see her flailing about in the dental chair.