4-Year-Old Boy Dies While Under Anesthesia at Dentist

'I've never heard of a child losing their life at a dentist'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2017 6:48 PM CDT
Mykel Peterson, 4, died while sedated during a routine dental procedure Friday.   (GoFundMe)

(Newser) – A mother in Washington state is searching for answers after her 4-year-old son died Friday following a routine dental procedure, KATU reports. Mykel Peterson didn't like the dentist. Thmeka Curry tells KGW her son was on the autism spectrum and had a hard time keeping his mouth open. That's why she says the dentist had an anesthesiologist put Mykel under Friday, giving him a dose of Ketamine. After the procedure, Mykel was breathing but wasn't waking up. Then he wasn't breathing. Dental staff started CPR and called 911, but Mykel was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital, the Columbian reports.

The medical examiner has yet to determine a cause of death, and the Washington State Department of Health is reviewing the incident to determine if it will investigate. "I just need to know what happened so I can have that closure for my son," Curry tells KATU. "I've never heard of a child losing their life at a dentist." In a statement released Monday, the dentist office says it's "heartbroken and devastated." It says it's used sedation and anesthesia "more than 1,900 times without incident" over the past 3.5 years. Mykel was remembered as "happy, loving, energetic, and smart" on a GoFundMe page set up for his family. At least three children died while under dental anesthesia last year in the US. (Read more anesthesia stories.)

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