Wisdom Teeth Removal Can Lead to Brain Damage

I have previously discussed how Austin Stone was left in a coma after having his wisdom teeth removed.

Recently, I have seen that Megan Rae Comstock several years ago suffered from permanent brain damage as a result of an overdose of sedation while having her wisdom teeth removed.

Specifically it appears that her brain was deprived of essential oxygen during the oral surgery which lead to the brain injury and damage. This is believed to have occurred due to the oral surgeon giving Megan more than the recommended amount of sedation during the procedure.

It is quoted that Megan “went from being an accomplished pianist and equestrienne to one who is now challenged in these and in many other areas.”

It is very unfortunate that complications from wisdom teeth removal can lead to brain damage which is a very serious problem especially at a young age like Megan. To learn more about the case and legal matters that followed I encourage you to read http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=intxco20100831804 and http://www.9thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/htmlopinion.asp?OpinionID=9207

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8 Responses to Wisdom Teeth Removal Can Lead to Brain Damage

  1. IV Sedation December 14, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    Sedation is a serious procedure and it can be easily complicated by various factors. Ideally, only qualified anesthetists should be providing sedation. Dentists are not qualified to give sedation and can legally only give local anesthesia.

  2. vipul April 17, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    it’s not the removal of fwisdom tooth that lead to brain demage but it is complication by anaesthesia or could be vaso vagel shock or hypoglyceia which is very commmen in case of even non operative procedure ,if patient is empty stomach or even anxiety …..

    so its is a serious anoxia may be because of any of reason one should never corealate with extraction .

  3. wisdom April 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    You are correct vipul. Understand that many headlines as in titles (including those on this site) are written in such a way to help bring in traffic from search engines and also for the general public who may not be as knowledgeable to help them understand the article.

  4. Cathy Garger April 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    My 17 year old daughter, Jenny Olenick, died 2 weeks ago today. She reportedly suffered cardiac arrest in the oral surgeon’s chair on March 28 and her brain suffered what the Hopkins’ docs called “severe, severe brain damage”. She lost complete brain functioning one week later, on April 4, when she could no longer take any breaths on her own.

    A Hopkins Pediatric Intensive Care Unit physician who is also an anesthesiologist told me that Jenny’s brain suffered oxygen deprivation for 6 to 10 minutes. How in the world could that have happened? There was an anesthesiologist administering several drugs and was supposed to be looking at the oxygen levels.

  5. Wolf April 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Cathy Garger – I’m so sorry to hear of Jenny Olenick’s death; I don’t believe it was inexplicable, and I hope the answer will be found. Please consider porphyria in your search.

    Many antibiotics (commonly prescribed in dentistry), such as Clindamycin and metronidazole, as well as certain commonly used anesthesias can be problematic, and sometimes deadly, in a person with porphyria. Symptoms can range from neurological to GI upset to excretion of reddish pigment in the urine. If aggravated, porphyria may cause coma and death.

    This is Porphyria Awareness Week. Please google “porphyria awareness.” At the American Porphyria Foundation, you will find a link to a list of many drugs that can aggravate porphyria. The people at this foundation are very helpful; there are only eight experts on porphyria in the US, and they can connect you with one.

    Most medical professionals never consider this disease. It is genetic and involves a defect in enzymes to do with heme synthesis. You can have it and not know it. If you do find a doctor who is aware of it, he will dismiss it as rare. It may be rare because no one ever thinks to test for it. Even laboratories that do testing are not familiar with the proper procedures and therefore allow samples to degrade and return false negative tests.

    Anyone who is administering anesthetics or prescribing porphyrogenic drugs should be very well educated about porphyria, and knowledgeable about its treatment. It may be relatively rare, but if you have it, it is not rare for you.

  6. Pat Robinson December 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Cathy, I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s death.

    There is much debate about the practice of dental office sedation safety. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) have long questioned the practice of general anesthesia in non-hospital environments.

    The American Dental Association rebukes the high cost of having multiple ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Saving) certified providers as a minimum level of emergency responders.

    ASA considers deep sedation, that which the patient is unable to feel pain as “general anesthesia”. However, in dental office sedation, the same deep sedation is considered “conscious sedation” and adequate safety response personnel are not required for patients.

    http://utenti.unife.it/giampaolo.garani/Sedazione-Farmaci/Adverse%20Sedation%20Events%20in%20Pediatrics%20A%20Critical%20Incident%20Analysis%20of%20Contributing%20Factors%20–%20Cot%E9%20et%20al_%20105%20%284%29%20805%20–%20Pediatrics.htm

    http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/Fulltext/2002/04000/Practice_Guidelines_for_Sedation_and_Analgesia_by.31.aspx

    http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/Fulltext/2002/04000/Practice_Guidelines_for_Sedation_and_Analgesia_by.31.aspx

    http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/Fulltext/2002/10000/Conscious_Sedation.73.aspx

    http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/Fulltext/2003/05000/Practice_Guidelines_for_Sedation_and_Analgesia_by.31.aspx

    http://www.asahq.org/Search.aspx?q=dental+sedation&site=All

    Pat Robinson

  7. Les December 17, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    Pat, your facts are wrong. And, note that a board certified ASA anesthesiologist was administering the anesthesia. How does that allow them to “question” oral surgery practices? Oral surgeons have the same ACLS training standards and qualifications that Anesthesiologists have.

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