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6-Year-Old Boy Dies in the Dentist’s Chair

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Authorities are investigating how a young boy died during a visit to the dentist on Tuesday.

Crystal Lewis took her son, Jacobi Hill, 6, to the Pediatric Dental Facility at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA to have two teeth capped. The dentist used anesthesia for the procedure. While Ms. Lewis waited for her son in the facility’s waiting room, her son went into cardiac arrest in the dentist’s chair.

An ambulance transported the boy to VCU Medical Center where they pronounced him dead. The medical examiner performed an autopsy, but it could be several weeks before results are known.

Jacobi had asthma, but his mother had him examined by a pediatrician on Monday who cleared Jacobi for the procedure.

Lewis told WTVR-TV, a local Richmond news station, on Friday that staff at the clinic never told her about any possible risks of sedation.

“Virginia Commonwealth University wants to understand what happened in connection with the tragic event involving a pediatric patient,” the University said in a statement regarding the death of Jacobi Hill. “Our internal investigation continues, and we are awaiting the results of the autopsy conducted by the Virginia Office of the Medical Examiner. We have been in contact with the patient’s family, and we will continue to be available to them. VCU complies with requirements governing the administration of general anesthesia during dental procedures, and professional emergency care is immediately available in our dental clinics and facilities.”

“Although there is some risk associated with general anesthesia, it can be used safely and effectively when administered by an appropriately-trained individual in an appropriately-equipped facility,” says the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. “Precautions are taken to protect your child during general anesthesia; personnel who are trained to manage complications will monitor your child closely. Your pediatric dentist will discuss the benefits and risks of general anesthesia and why it is recommended for your child.”