Lawsuit filed over dental procedure that left child brain dead

By Pamela Young
Published On: Jan 02 2014 05:17:04 PM HST
Updated On: Jan 02 2014 07:52:45 PM HST

The mother of a three-year-old girl who is brain-dead after a root canal procedure has filed a lawsuit against the Kailua dentist who performed the procedure.

HONOLULU -

A 3-year-old girl left brain dead after a dental procedure has about two days to live, according to her mother.

Click here to watch Pamela Young's report.

Finley Boyle went into cardiac arrest about 26 minutes into a multiple root canal in Kailua.  Now, her parents are suing the dentist.

Mother Ashley Boyle says Finley is clinging to life, but time is running out.  MRIs show that lack of oxygen resulted in severe and permanent brain damage.

"We were all hoping, even the doctors are in tears," said Boyle.  "They all have children too.  We were all waiting for her to wake up."

But, secretions are building in her lungs, too fast for her body to expel.  Finley is at Hospice Hawaii with little time left.

This nightmare could have been avoided, according to attorney Rick Fried, if Island Dentistry had properly administered and monitored Finley's drugs and vital signs.

The lawsuit alleges that Finley was given five different sedatives and anesthetics without consideration of how the combination of those drugs would react on the body of a 3-year-old girl.

"It appears most of the work said to be necessary by Dr. Geyer was not necessary.  Secondly, the drugs given were as though given individually," said Fried.

Fried claims the Island Dentistry staff was not adequately trained for emergencies, and on this day had to run down to the hall to get help from a pediatrician.  Record keeping during the procedure, says the lawsuit, was reduced to two scribbles on slips of paper.

Dr. Geyer's office is now closed.  Her attorney did not return our calls.

Mother Ashley, herself a registered oncology nurse, says her main concern now is Finley's quality of life in the time she has left.

"We speak to her.  We sing to her.  Play music for her all day.  She lays there.  Whisper in her ear, getting Reiki, aromatherapy, acupuncture, anything, really," said Boyle.

The lawsuit seeks general, special and punitive damages.  No amount is stated, but similar cases on the mainland have resulted in judgments in the millions.

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