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Thread: Jenny Olenick (17) died during wisdom tooth extraction

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Jenny Olenick (17) died during wisdom tooth extraction

    When 17-year-old Jenny Olenick went in to have her wisdom teeth removed, her parents weren't worried. After all, wisdom tooth extraction is so common these days that it's almost become a rite of passage for teens.

    She was supposed to be out of there in an hour and a half, Jenny's mom, Cathy Garger, told TODAY. Just something we all do, going to the dentist. She was supposed to resume normal functioning within about four days or so.

    But the routine procedure quickly took a tragic turn. Just 15 minutes after Garger and her husband dropped Jenny off at the clinic they received an urgent call from the oral surgeon's office.


    We heard the ambulance sirens going in the background, Garger remembers. And as my husband and I were riding up the elevator we said, "That's for Jenny." We just knew it.

    Though Garger and her husband were worried, they still had no idea of how badly things had gone wrong during the routine procedure on March 28, 2011. When they got to the hospital, doctors told them the outlook was bleak. Their daughter died 10 days later.

    The autopsy report revealed that the apparently healthy teen had died of hypoxia while under anesthesia for a tooth extraction. In other words, she'd been deprived of oxygen for so long that her brain was severely damaged. Sometimes when patients are under anesthesia their heart rate can slow, and then the body gets less and less oxygen if doctors can't get their heart back up to speed. Jenny's death was ruled to be an accident.

    Jenny's was the second reported hypoxia-related dental procedure death last year. Earlier in the year, 13-year-old Marissa Kingery died after an oral surgery went wrong. Her death was also ruled an accident.

    Jenny Olenick's oral surgeon, Dominick Coletti, did not comment to TODAY; in an interview with the Baltimore Sun shortly after Jenny's death he said he was deeply saddened, but maintained that the team of medical professionals that were involved in her case worked hard to provide her with the best medical care.

    Garger and her husband weren't satisfied with that response and have sued both Coletti and his anesthesiologist, Dr. Krista Michelle Isaacs. Both maintain their medical licenses.

    According to the American Association for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons cases like Olenick's and Kingery's are rare, albeit tragic. In fact, the association's records show that the risk of death or brain injury in patients undergoing anesthesia during oral surgery is 1 out of 365,000. While maintaining that safety standards are stringent, the organization still encourages patients to ask their dentists the tough questions.

    http://todayhealth.cdn.today.com/_ne...lite=obnetwork
    Last edited by puzzld; 12-31-2012 at 07:48 AM.
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    Senior Member Chopstix's Avatar
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    How sad and scary.

    My cousin's husband recently had his wisdom teeth removed and almost died. His complications were from too much bleeding that couldn't be stopped and he was in ICU for a while. He went under thinking it would be a routine surgery and he would be home a few hours later, but then woke up days later, in ICU not knowing what happened.

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    Senior Member trepid's Avatar
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    Oh, hell no. Well, I think i'll be cancelling my pending wisdom teeth extraction right about now.

    I wasn't going to go fully under anyway (the thought of being worked on unconscious skeeves me out to the max), but there was some talk that one of them is heinously close to an artery or major nerve or something. The dentist was like "Yeah, I SHOULD be able to just do it right here in the chair ... but FYI, if something goes wrong and I hit the nerve, you will probably lose all the feeling in your face. Ok, have a nice day ... don't forget to bring an i-pod along to the procedure". I was all like . They didn't say shit about any possibility of bleeding to death though.

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    Is doin' yo dad! White trash bitchy blonde's Avatar
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    I think teeth issues are one of the most interesting subjects and not enough is said about certain procedures and their risks.

    I've never been completly put under, only a twilight sedation at best. ANY kind of infection in your mouth tho can lead to death if not taken care of. I told it once before but a good friend had an abcsess and he died in the middle of the night from the toxins in the infection.

    I have taken my kids to the dentist and at first it weirded me out but especially the younger ones, the dentist or hygienist has a ear piece on that is wired to the kid's wires on their chest so they can tell if their heart rate is dropping.

    I think if you are going for any kind of surgery, even mouth surgery there is always a risk but It's pretty rare. I suggest something for anxiety before going in and no more than a twilight sedation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopstix View Post
    How sad and scary.

    My cousin's husband recently had his wisdom teeth removed and almost died. His complications were from too much bleeding that couldn't be stopped and he was in ICU for a while. He went under thinking it would be a routine surgery and he would be home a few hours later, but then woke up days later, in ICU not knowing what happened.
    This sounds similar to what I was facing, except I was told up front of the risks and sent home to think about it before making a decision. The roots to my top wisdom teeth were so long and positioned in such a way that there was a chance that the hole from the roots would run into my sinuses creating the possibility of uncontrolled bleeding or being permanently paralyzed on either or both sides of my face. If I were to experience uncontrolled bleeding they would then take me to emergency surgery for cauterization. He warned that there was no guarantee that would be successful either. After going home and researching for days, I decided that the chances were low and (this is going to sound vain) I had a $5,000 smile that my parents paid for in braces that the wisdom teeth would destroy if they were allowed to come through. I ended up having all four removed with no complications, thankfully. It's a scary thing, though.

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    Senior Member Harlette's Avatar
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    omg! this is why i only do novacaine shots - even for my wisdom teeth, not only do dentists usually not have heart monitors but there have been a few instances where ppl died when the dentist accidently drop the cotton roll or extracted tooth in the throat
    http://www.teethremoval.com/dental_deaths.html

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    Senior Member Harlette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlette View Post
    omg! this is why i only do novacaine shots - even for my wisdom teeth, not only do dentists usually not have heart monitors but there have been a few instances where ppl died when the dentist accidently drop the cotton roll or extracted tooth in the throat
    http://www.teethremoval.com/dental_deaths.html
    and yes.... i do have weird fears

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    Senior Member UncomfortablyNumb's Avatar
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    I'm so glad I've already had mine removed. So scary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shins View Post
    Before you thrust into oncoming trains, always be sure to look both ways.

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    Senior Member trepid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by White trash bitchy blonde View Post
    I think teeth issues are one of the most interesting subjects and not enough is said about certain procedures and their risks.

    I've never been completly put under, only a twilight sedation at best. ANY kind of infection in your mouth tho can lead to death if not taken care of. I told it once before but a good friend had an abcsess and he died in the middle of the night from the toxins in the infection.

    I have taken my kids to the dentist and at first it weirded me out but especially the younger ones, the dentist or hygienist has a ear piece on that is wired to the kid's wires on their chest so they can tell if their heart rate is dropping.

    I think if you are going for any kind of surgery, even mouth surgery there is always a risk but It's pretty rare. I suggest something for anxiety before going in and no more than a twilight sedation.
    I seem to recall being told that the whole mouth infection sitch can get super serious, super fast, due the proximity to the brain or something. And Septicaemia.

    I think what GlassHat described is also my current situation, soooo I will more than likely just have to just bite the bullet. Millions of people have this inconvenient shit pulled out every day without incident, so I'm not really that concerned ... but I'll totally be taking your advice and eating a shit ton of Seroquel just prior and probably pumping myself with some soothing and cheezy Whale Song music or Tibetan monk chants. That way, the worst case scenario is I will at least slowly bleed to death in a state of Seroquel-induced peace and harmony.

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    Senior Member Chopstix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassHat View Post
    This sounds similar to what I was facing, except I was told up front of the risks and sent home to think about it before making a decision. The roots to my top wisdom teeth were so long and positioned in such a way that there was a chance that the hole from the roots would run into my sinuses creating the possibility of uncontrolled bleeding or being permanently paralyzed on either or both sides of my face. If I were to experience uncontrolled bleeding they would then take me to emergency surgery for cauterization. He warned that there was no guarantee that would be successful either. After going home and researching for days, I decided that the chances were low and (this is going to sound vain) I had a $5,000 smile that my parents paid for in braces that the wisdom teeth would destroy if they were allowed to come through. I ended up having all four removed with no complications, thankfully. It's a scary thing, though.
    My sister delayed getting her wisdom teeth out and her teeth got all messed up. Years of braces were worthless and she had to get them all over again.

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    Is doin' yo dad! White trash bitchy blonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trepid View Post
    I seem to recall being told that the whole mouth infection sitch can get super serious, super fast, due the proximity to the brain or something. And Septicaemia.

    I think what GlassHat described is also my current situation, soooo I will more than likely just have to just bite the bullet. Millions of people have this inconvenient shit pulled out every day without incident, so I'm not really that concerned ... but I'll totally be taking your advice and eating a shit ton of Seroquel just prior and probably pumping myself with some soothing and cheezy Whale Song music or Tibetan monk chants. That way, the worst case scenario is I will at least slowly bleed to death in a state of Seroquel-induced peace and harmony.
    Are you on seroquel? OMG, pm me your details about using this drug please so we don't derail this thread. I want your insight on that drug.

    Anyways, I would ask about taking the seroquel before going in. They might want you to take something else. I don't think any kind of mouth pain or surgery is ever risk free but I think the numbers show that the bad stuff happens rarely.
    The mouth infections are scary tho if they arent treated. Abscesses are scary and it only makes sense that they treat it with antibiotics before they open up a wound in your mouth.
    When my friend died, we thought it had something to do with maybe heart failure but were completly thrown off when we found out what really happened.

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    Is doin' yo dad! White trash bitchy blonde's Avatar
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    Oh and I was told as well that one of my teeth when pulled would leave a hole that went into my sinuses and might require a bone graph. Luckily it closed on it's own.

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    Senior Member kevansvault's Avatar
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    I swear there's already a thread on this....
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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    She has an article, but I didn't find a thread. I know we talked about Marissa but I didn't find a thread on that one either, but we've lost a lot of stuff in the various crashes.

    http://www.mydeathspace.com/article/..._teeth_removed
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    Senior Member kevansvault's Avatar
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    Yeah, it must have been lost in the crash. I only remember because I posted about how this was a blatant and unmistakable case of negligence on the part of the doctor. So incredibly easy to remedy this but they took no steps to ensure that they were monitoring her correctly and effectively. It's so easy to do. I remember too, because one of the members was about to have her wisdom teeth out. Poor girl. And her poor parents for trusting that these people actually knew what they were doing. Disgusting.
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    Senior Member morbidT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevansvault View Post
    Yeah, it must have been lost in the crash. I only remember because I posted about how this was a blatant and unmistakable case of negligence on the part of the doctor. So incredibly easy to remedy this but they took no steps to ensure that they were monitoring her correctly and effectively. It's so easy to do. I remember too, because one of the members was about to have her wisdom teeth out. Poor girl. And her poor parents for trusting that these people actually knew what they were doing. Disgusting.
    I remember this, too. The member had to have her wisdom teeth removed because she was losing her insurance under her parents.

    I had mine cut out and ended up with dry sockets. Fucking hurt like hell.


    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    ..... it wasn't anything personal, she just mistook him for a serial killer......

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    Senior Member Morbid_much's Avatar
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    I just don't get it when I read stories about people having to recover after they got their wisdom tooth pulled. We go to the dentist, he pulls it, stuffs some bandages in the hole and we go home or back to work, at least that's how it went for me and what I hear from the people I know. It's uncomfortable because your mouth is half numb and painfull when that wears off, but not that bad and not something I need to recover from. I also never knew there could be such dangerous complications. That's scary, I hope my dentist knows that, I still have one to go.

    But this girl died from the anesthesia itself right? Why are they putting people fully under for a procedure that can be done with local anesthesia? Wouldn't that be safer and cheaper? Do you get to choose what you want?
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    Senior Member Trahnse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morbid_much View Post

    But this girl died from the anesthesia itself right? Why are they putting people fully under for a procedure that can be done with local anesthesia? Wouldn't that be safer and cheaper? Do you get to choose what you want?
    I think it depends on how much it will take to get the teeth out as well as the patient's anxiety level towards surgery. If the teeth are deep or positioned badly, it takes more than simply pulling it out. A friend of mine recently had a tooth pulled and they had to put her completely out because the roots were fairly long on the tooth. Her oral surgeon had the forethought to put her on a heart rate monitor, O2 and an O2 sat monitor.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Yes. Exactly right Trahnse. My top wisdom teeth, were all the way in and well positioned and the dentist was able to pull them with no problems. The only reason I needed time off (the rest of the day) was because the Novocain makes me sick, and because he had me take a little stronger pain killer than the otc stuff.

    The teeth on the bottom were a whole nother story, only part way out and causing big problems for the neighboring teeth. They needed to be cut out, broken into pieces and to have the roots drilled loose to get them out, so he wanted the surgeon to do it under twilight sedation.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
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    Senior Member puke's Avatar
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    When I got mine pulled I got painkillers but it still hurt. :(
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    Senior Member Morbid_much's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trahnse View Post
    I think it depends on how much it will take to get the teeth out as well as the patient's anxiety level towards surgery. If the teeth are deep or positioned badly, it takes more than simply pulling it out. A friend of mine recently had a tooth pulled and they had to put her completely out because the roots were fairly long on the tooth. Her oral surgeon had the forethought to put her on a heart rate monitor, O2 and an O2 sat monitor.
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    Yes. Exactly right Trahnse. My top wisdom teeth, were all the way in and well positioned and the dentist was able to pull them with no problems. The only reason I needed time off (the rest of the day) was because the Novocain makes me sick, and because he had me take a little stronger pain killer than the otc stuff.

    The teeth on the bottom were a whole nother story, only part way out and causing big problems for the neighboring teeth. They needed to be cut out, broken into pieces and to have the roots drilled loose to get them out, so he wanted the surgeon to do it under twilight sedation.
    That makes more sense. I don't know how they handle that here. I thought it was common over there to get fully sedated everytime a whisdom tooth has to come out. It seemed like an unnecessary risk to me.
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    Senior Member bermstalker's Avatar
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    It is so strange how a routine procedure can quickly become deadly for some people.

    Went through (a family member) something like that a few years ago. A ruptured appendix quickly leads to a couple of weeks in the ICU, heart stopping a few times and several more weeks in the hospital, along with 2 more surgeries and many more months of recovery. Thankfully our situation turned out alright, but it sure hit home how one second can change your life.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    A lot of people who have good insurance that will pay for the procedure, do choose sedation, people who don't have the cash or the insurance... not so much.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by White trash bitchy blonde View Post
    Are you on seroquel? OMG, pm me your details about using this drug please so we don't derail this thread. I want your insight on that drug.

    Anyways, I would ask about taking the seroquel before going in. They might want you to take something else. I don't think any kind of mouth pain or surgery is ever risk free but I think the numbers show that the bad stuff happens rarely.
    The mouth infections are scary tho if they arent treated. Abscesses are scary and it only makes sense that they treat it with antibiotics before they open up a wound in your mouth.
    When my friend died, we thought it had something to do with maybe heart failure but were completly thrown off when we found out what really happened.

    OT but I just got off seroquel after four years, if you have any questions.

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    When I had mine out, I was hooked up to monitors and it was done in the hospital. I got to choose if I wanted to be completely out.

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