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NJ dentist under investigation after second child dies during dental work

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A dentist on probation for the death of a child during dental care is facing investigation after a second child has died.

Dr. Patrick Bamgboye, a 64-year-old dentist with Dental Health Associates, P.A., is facing review by state regulators and potentially a criminal investigation after a child died during a routine dental procedure at the firm’s Irvington, NJ office. The dentist is already on probation for the death of another child in 2004.

On February 8 of this year, Antonia Cahchalac-Garcia took her son 3-year-old son Juan Quiej to Dr. Bamgboye’s office for cavity filling, according to The Star-Journal. Prior to the procedure, the dentist’s office wrapped Juan in a papoose, a backboard with Velcro straps commonly used with pediatric patients to restrain movement, and gave him a local anesthetic.

Local anesthesia involves use of an anesthetic drug applied topically or via an injection to numb a small, specific area of the body.

CBS New York reports that an attorney for Ms. Cahchalac-Garcia said she noticed her son was in distress during the procedure and asked Dr. Bamgboye to stop, whereas the dentist told her to relax and let him work. Fifteen minutes later, Juan’s lips were blue and he had stopped breathing. Emergency services transported Juan to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, who oversees the Board of Dentistry, is investigating the death of Juan Quiej. The state Attorney General and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office are determining if Dr. Bamgboye’s actions warrant a criminal investigation.

This is not the first time a child has died undergoing dental work by Dr. Bamgboye. In fact, he is currently on probation by the state Board of Dentistry after death of another young child.

In 2004, Farah Torres brought her 6-year-old daughter Kyneicha Pagan to Dr. Bamgboye for dental work, where she was also wrapped in a papoose and given a local anesthetic. During the procedure, Ms. Torres was so concerned about Kyneicha’s distress, her continuous screaming and crying, that she asked Dr. Bamgboye to stop treatment, but he convinced her it was necessary to continue. Later Kyneicha stopped breathing and died.

The coroner ruled it was due to natural causes related to serious medical conditions. She had cerebral palsy, dysphagia and a seizure disorder, and was mentally retarded and unable to communicate.

However, the New Jersey Board of Dentistry investigated the death of Kyneicha Pagan and filed a complaint against Dr. Bamgboye in 2008 for repeated acts of negligence, malpractice or incompetence and gross negligence. An administrative law judge found no gross negligence by the dentist, but did not address allegations of repeated acts of negligence, malpractice or incompetence.

The Board of Dentistry decided to modify and reject the judge’s Initial Decision, taking its own disciplinary action. Dr. Bamgboye contested the allegations.

“Simply put, Dr. Bamgboye did not obtain an adequate medical history or make a reasonably thorough assessment of her ability to withstand the treatment he undertook given her condition on that date,” the Board said in a Final Order. “While some of the components of treatment considered in isolation may have been supportable, for that patient, on that day, Dr. Bamgboye's actions taken cumulatively reflect a lack of judgment supporting a determination that he repeatedly deviated from the standard of care by failing to obtain an adequate history, failing to adequately assess the patient's medical condition, and failing to ensure emergency equipment was available prior to initiating treatment. Further, the record created for K.P. did not conform to the standards for record keeping for pediatric dentists for pediatric treating medically compromised patients or to the Board's rules.”

The Board ordered suspension of Dr. Bamgboye's license to practice for a period of two years, three months of which served as an active suspension and the remainder served as a period of probation. The Board also required the dentist pay a penalty of $10,000 and $97,679 for investigation costs and attorneys fees, in addition to completing certain remedial continuing education.