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Dental Infection Malpractice Lawsuit in Frederick County

Chambers v. Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates

maryland lawsuit against dentistThis pediatric dental malpractice lawsuit was filed by a minor boy's parents in Frederick County after defendants perform multiple procedures but fail to prescribe antibiotics, despite an infection. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on March 3, 2017, and is the 107th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

A minor boy seeks dental treatment from the defendants. The defendants examine him and take X-rays. Defendant dentist concludes that the exam and the X-rays reveal multiple cavities and abscesses, requiring dental treatment.

The next day the boy has several procedures done at defendant's office. These include removing decay, pulpotomy (removing diseased tissue within the crown part of the tooth), crown preparation, and root tip extraction. Despite multiple infections, no antibiotics are prescribed or given to the boy.

Eight days later, the boy returns to have an extraction of one of his abscessed teeth done. Once again, no antibiotic is given despite clear abscesses/infections in the tooth. Within twenty-four hours, the boy develops swelling in his face and mouth, fever, and pain in his head and mouth. His parents take him to the ER at Chambersburg Hospital in Pennsylvania where he is immediately given antibiotics.

An exam of the boy reveals significant right cheek and facial swelling, contusions, and bruising from an infection that has been left untreated. Studies reveal an abscess formation and a highly elevated white blood cell count. He stays at the hospital for five days due to the health threatening infection.

When he is discharged, he is followed by his pediatrician. He develops gastrointestinal problems due to the heavy antibiotic administration that became necessary to treat his infection as it was not treated promptly by the defendants. He develops a dairy allergy as well. Finally, the boy is terrified of receiving any medical or dental treatment due to the care he received from the defendants.

Additional Comments
  • The question in the case is pretty straight forward. Was it a breach of the standard of care not to prescribe antibiotics to this boy. The dentist is going to argue that antibiotics carry risks and while we know in hindsight there were infections, the dentist did not believe based on the available evidence that the boy had infections that required antibiotics. It helps plaintiff's case that the ER doctors apparently believe antibiotics were appropriate, but it depends on how his symptoms changed over that 24 hour period.
  • The dairy allergy is an interesting issue. It will be hard to get medical testimony to prove direct causation between the antibiotics and the dairy allergy. Certainly, plaintiff's dental expert will not be permitted to offer that type of testimony at trial.
  • Five days at a hospital for a young boy is awful, and if you believed it was the result of the dentist's malpractice, you would be justifiably livid. But are the damages significant enough to warrant a malpractice lawsuit in a conservative county like Frederick? Few malpractice lawyers are going to take this case.
Jurisdiction
  • Frederick County
Defendants
  • A dentist
  • Dr. Sivakumar Pediatric Dental Center, LLC; Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Chambersburg Hospital (Pennsylvania)
Negligence
  • Failure to place plaintiff on antibiotics
Specific Counts Pled
  • Dental/Medical Negligence
  • Informed Consent
  • Parents Claim for Expenses
Plaintiff's Experts and Areas of Specialty Getting a Lawyer for Your Dental Malpractice Claim

Have you suffered an injury due to the negligence of a dentist? If so, contact Miller & Zois today. Call us at (800) 553-8082 or get a free online case review. We have a long history of obtaining large results in medical malpractices cases in Maryland, large verdicts and settlements.

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