New Jersey officials are investigating a dentist after a 3-year-old boy died in his care while restrained and under local anesthetic for a routine cavity-filling procedure. The dentist was still on probation after the death of a 6-year-old girl in 2004.
Dr. Patrick Bamgboye, 64, is cooperating with authorities, an attorney for his employer, Dental Health Associates, told The Star-Ledger newspaper of Newark for a story Wednesday. It's too early in the investigation to assert blame, attorney Harry Levin said.
Juan Quiej was restrained in a cocoon-like papoose to have cavities filled Feb. 8 at a Dental Health office in Irvington and was given a local anesthetic, his mother, Antonia Cahchalac-Garcia, told the newspaper. The child went limp, his lips turned blue and he stopped breathing, she said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Bamgboye was already on probation following a suspension by the Board of Dentistry for the death of Kyneicha Pagan, who died in his care at an office in Perth Amboy. News that another child had died in Bamgboye's care made the girl's mother, Farah Torres, relive her own experience, she told the Star-Ledger.
"It can happen once, but not twice," Torres said. "Two innocent kids die. It can't be a coincidence."
Like Juan, Kyneicha had been placed in a papoose and given a local anesthetic, and stopped breathing during the procedure. But a medical examiner determined that Kyneicha had died of natural causes because she suffered from several serious medical conditions, including cerebral palsy.
The Board of Dentistry investigated Kyneicha's death and filed a complaint against Bamgboye in 2008, according to the newspaper. An administrative law judge in 2010 found no gross negligence, but the board suspended Bamgboye for three months in January last year and placed him on probation for an additional 21 months.
The two children had "completely different medical circumstances," Levin said, noting that authorities had not yet determined what the 3-year-old boy died from. The procedure used on the boy was routine until complications arose, Levin said.
An attorney for both families is pushing for Bamgboye's license to be revoked.
The Division of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the Board of Dentistry, is investigating. The Essex County prosecutor's office is reviewing the case with the attorney general's office to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted.
Information from: The Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/starledger