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
Kristen Tavares   (Facebook)

(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.)

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Mar 22, 2014 12:16 PM CDT
This is not all that unusual. It's not common, but it happens and it's not necessarily anyone's fault. All surgery has risk. I hope she comes out of it.
Mar 22, 2014 12:15 AM CDT
Hello? This is Gloria Allred calling.
Mar 21, 2014 9:39 PM CDT
I find it interesting that the human genome calls for 32 adult teeth given the troublesome nature of the last four..... One might think that evolution would push that aside.... Who knows, it still might... FWIW my "wisdom teeth" came in without problem although I was warned that it would cause "mouth crowding"...Hasn't been an issue..... The year of teething was, however, annoying....