Young Mom in Coma After Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Boyfriend: Kristen Tavares 'went into cardiac arrest'

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 21, 2014 9:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Hawaii woman went in for routine dental work on Monday but ... didn't wake up. Kristen Tavares, 23, was to have four wisdom teeth removed; during the procedure "she went into cardiac arrest and they had to use a defibrillator and shocked her, stunned her heart," her boyfriend tells Hawaii News Now. The mother of a three-month-old baby and a son, 4, is now in a coma, and a CT scan shows some swelling in the brain, a separate Hawaii News Now story notes. What went wrong still remains a mystery.

"Statistically it's usually an airway issue," a doctor not related to Tavares' care explains. "Perhaps a foreign body drops into the airway like a tooth, or a piece of gauze or perhaps the patient might vomit and get fluid up their airway and then down into their lungs. That's why we have them don't eat or drink before a general anesthetic or any anesthetic." Cosmetic surgeon John Stover treated Tavares; he has both medical and dental licenses. While he's in currently good standing, Civil Beat dug up state records that show Stover has had three medical complaints against him; two are pending, one from 2012 related to professional conduct was dropped due to lack of sufficient evidence. (Last month, a Maine teen mysteriously died three days after having his wisdom teeth removed; a month prior to that, a 3-year-old died after a dental procedure in Hawaii.)

Kristen Tavares   (Facebook)
This April 17, 2013 file photo shows dental molds.   (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)
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