Connecticut dentist suspended after patient dies while having 20 teeth pulled in one visit




A Connecticut dentist with a shady past of malpractice has had his license suspended after a patient died in February as he attempted to pull 20 teeth in a single visit from a 64-year-old grandmother with prior health issues. Dr. Rashmi Patel’s assistant begged him to stop the Feb. 17 dental work being performed on Judith Gan as the patient gurgled and lost conscious during the procedure, which included placing implants in the woman’s mouth after removing the teeth.

He “wanted to complete the placement of implants” as “the assistant begged (Patel) to stop working, and finally ran out and called 911, but the patient had already flat-lined,” the state Department of Public Health wrote in a report, according to the Hartford Courant.

The four count petition found, among an array of other misdeeds, that Patel “deviated from standard of care in that he did not timely and/or properly respond to (Gan’s) oxygen desaturation and/or respiratory distress and/or cardio-pulmonary distress,” according to state records.

Gan’s cause of death is officially “pending further studies” but a Hamden dentist, asked to review the case for the Department of Health, found “that (Gan) did not have to die to receive this dental treatment and it is because of … Patel’s negligence that she died,” WFSB-TV reported.

His license, issued in 2003, was suspended April 21 pending a June 18 hearing in front of the state dental commission. Patel runs two clinics, in Enfield and Torrington.

The horror of Gan’s botched procedure came after a December incident, when a 55-year-old man “aspirated the throat pack” and was rushed to the hospital. The unidentified victim, referred to as J.S. in state records, stopped breathing and spent six days in the hospital after suffering heart and lung damage, according to the news station.

Patel was sued for malpractice by a former employee in 2009 after he performed “shoddy” dental work. Doreen Jasonis won nearly $500,000 from a jury in 2011, but the ruling was appealed and eventually ended with an out-of-court settlement. The dentist’s attorney says both clinics remain open and that Patel will fight the charges.

"(Patel) is highly skilled and respected in the field of sedation dentistry," Michael Kogut told the Courant. "The record is clear that these allegations and what has been reported are not founded in accuracy or fact, even to the point that this arbitrary action was taken against Dr. Patel before the cause of death was determined. The Department of Public Health has again acted outside its limitations."

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