A family in Washington is seeking answers after their 4-year-old son died Friday during seeking a routine dental procedure that reportedly involved a shot of anesthesia. Mykel Peterson, a patient at Must Love Kids dental practice in Vancouver, was on the autism spectrum and had trouble keeping his mouth open during appointments. “He wouldn’t keep his mouth open so they can actually see what’s going on”, said Thmeka Curry, Mykels’s mother.
The dental practice pursues in treating children with developmental issues and uses a board-certified anesthesiologist. Accordingly, Mykel was given a shot of Ketamine, a common anesthesia drug, so that he would be sedated while the dentist checked to see if he needed a filling or crown. Curry said, “The dentist was telling me everything she did with his teeth, and she was going to check if he was awake yet.” Curry told that the anesthesiologist said Mykel was given an extra dose to ensure he did not wake during the procedure. “The anesthesiologist started checking his pulse and was shaking him and at this point, I am still not aware anything happened to my son”, said Curry, who was in the waiting room.
Paramedics were called to the office and staff members began administering CPR. Mykel was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead. KATU reported that a medical examiner is investigating to determine a cause of death, while a toxicology report will not be available for up to eight weeks. “For me right now, it’s more of I just need to know what happened. So I can have that closeness for my son. That’s it”, Curry told KATU. A statement from Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry said it would be premature to comment on the specifics of the case, but that the office has carried out dentistry for pediatric patients under deep sedation and general anesthesia more than 1,900 times without incident over the last three years.
The statement, “We contract with highly qualified, an independent and experienced board-certified anesthesiologist for anesthesia services who follow strict protocols, including a pre-operative medical checkup and clearance by the child’s primary physician prior to the procedure.” A GoFundMe page set up to cover costs of Mykel’s funeral said he will be remembered as a smart, loving and energetic boy.