A dentist is accused of letting his patient die while extracting 20 teeth and inserting several implants. The patient showed signs of distress as she was under anesthesia for the dental procedures.
The suspect, Rashmi Patel, a 45-year-old dentist, turned himself in on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at the Enfield Police Department. He is now facing charges of criminally negligent homicide and tampering with evidence.
One year ago, a 64-year-old patient of his, Judith Gan, was declared dead at the hospital. It was Feb. 17 2014. According to dental state regulators, Dr. Patel failed to take action when his patient’s oxygen levels dropped, hitting a dangerous level. She was consciously sedated and was undergoing several tooth extractions in order to be replaced by implants the same day.
This event, along with other incidents convinced the State Dental Commission in December that it was necessary to suspend his license. This decision was taken after a careful, month-long analysis of his practice.
Dr. Patel, who posted $25,000 bail said at first that he did nothing wrong during the treatment.
According to the commission who filed a report, Patel “ignored” the fact that his patient was showing signs of distress (the low oxygen level, her face and hands changing color, the wheezing and gurgling sounds she was making).
The report also stated that the dentist ignored the situation and continued with the procedure even when his assistants prompted him that the patient was in a bad state. It was only when one of the help shouted that the woman was “flat lining” that he reacted. Hospital
The assistant called 911 and the patient was quickly taken to the hospital where she was declared dead.
The Dental Commission concluded that Patel’s error lied in the number of procedures he planned on doing in one session. Another mistake he made was ignoring the patient’s medical history. Gan suffered from a heart attack six months prior to the appointment and two strokes within the last two years. She was also under medication that could have influenced the way she handled sedation.
The attorney representing Gan’s husband said that there will be a lawsuit against the dentist. Neither Patel nor his lawyer could be reached for comments.
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