Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Fatal visit to the dentist

Vera Sterzik, Thomas Tatschner, Norbert Roewer, Daniel Barrera & Michael Bohnert

abstract A 23-year-old woman was mortally afraid of dental interventions and decided to have her four wisdom teeth removed by outpatient surgery under endotracheal anaesthesia. According to the files, the patient was categorized as ASA I and Mallampati II, and surgery was considered an elective routine intervention. Soon after initiation of anaesthesia, O2 saturation and blood pressure dropped, and the young woman died shortly afterwards in spite of immediate resuscitation measures. At first, an allergic reaction to succinylcholine, which had been administered as a muscle relaxant, was suspected. Autopsy and histological examination showed haemorrhagic pulmonary oedema and a defined lesion in the midportion of the oesophageal mucosa in spite of correct placement of the endotracheal breathing tube. Ultimately, misintubation into the oesophagus, which had not been noticed at first, was determined as cause of death.
citation Sterzik V, Tatschner T, Roewer N, Barrera D, Bohnert M. Fatal visit to the dentist. Int J Legal Med 2013; 129:219-22.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 08-11-2013
journal title Int J Legal Med (129/1)
ISSN electronic 1437-1596
pages 219-22
PubMed 24202697
DOI 10.1007/s00414-013-0930-8