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Four-year-old brain damaged after dentist visit

Nevaeh Hall

(NaturalNews) A Houston family is preparing to file a lawsuit against a local dentist, after their four-year-old daughter suffered brain damage following multiple seizures during a visit, KHOU reported recently.

Attorneys for the family say the child's seizures were brought on by the use of a number of sedatives and a controversial restraint.

"In essence what happened is this child was chemically and physically suffocated," Jim Moriarty, the attorney for the family of 4-year-old Nevaeh Hall, said in an interview with the station. "This child suffered massive brain damage during that time period and that didn't have to happen."

Nevaeh was a repeat patient at the Diamond Dental clinic; her mother, Courissa Clark, told the station that it was the child's third visit, and that she had expected that some of the girl's teeth would be capped or even removed because of decay.

She said she and her husband were told to remain in the waiting room during the procedures.

Records that were examined by an independent dentist show that Navaeh was given multiple sedatives.

"Sedated in the office for over seven hours, given five sedatives for a routine dental procedure that should have been done and over by mid morning," the review said.

In addition, the child had been placed in a common restraint device called a papoose, which confines a child's arms and legs so they don't interfere with a clinician's medical procedures.


"And I can tell you that this chart shows you that this child was essentially tortured," said Moriarty, while holding a printout of the oxygen, blood pressure and pulse measurements recorded during the visit.

The independent review said that the child's vital signs were "off the charts," and that "her body tried to compensate for her inability to breathe by increasing her heart rate to has high as 195 beats per minute." Also, it said that her blood pressure rose to "a dangerous 168/77," which can be considered very elevated for a child her age, and that her oxygen saturation fell to as low as 49 percent (mid-to-upper 90s is considered normal).

"Severe hypoxia is often classified as any saturation lower than 86 percent. And is known to cause brain damage," the analysis said.

"They never did call it a seizure. They just said shaking, she's shaking," Nevaeh's mom said at a recent news conference. "Just the whole time they assured us that everything was okay. And the next time we were allowed to come in is when the paramedics were actually coming back. And that was about four hours later."

History of bad practices

Records show that the dentist, Bethaniel Jefferson, has been disciplined and fined by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners at least twice in the past, KHOU reported. Following the incident with Nevaeh, her license has been suspended temporarily, to be followed by a license revocation hearing.

Jefferson did not return phone calls seeking comment, the station reported.

As KHOU noted further:

Some dentists do defend use of the restraint device in certain carefully-monitored situations.

But as Nevaeh's family prepares a lawsuit for what Moriarty alleges was gross negligence, they are speaking out now to send a warning.

"If parents are being told to authorize or grant permission to papoose their child, they probably ought to run," said Craig Jacobs with Children First Dental.

"Clinics across America, across Houston, across Texas use the same business model every day to over treat these children and use these restraints. And the standard is exactly what happened here, separate mom and dad from their child, assuage their fears, take the child back, over treat them and get away with it," said Moriarty.

"We've got to get the American public to understand you cannot allow your child to be held in a restraint device without you personally being present," he added.

The family has established a GoFundMe account here to help pay for Nevaeh's care.





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