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3-Year-Old Boy Dies After Routine Dental Procedure, Mother Demands Investigation

toddler dead dentist procedure

A tragic incident at a Kansas dentist office has claimed the life of a 3-year-old boy.

According to reports, Abiel Valenzuela Zapata (pictured above) was taken into Tiny Teeth Pediatrics Dentistry in Wichita on July 6 to have teeth pulled due to a gum infection, but he unfortunately died after he was given anesthesia for the routine surgery.

His mother, Nancy Valenzuela, told KSNW that her son was perfectly healthy and doing fine before the “simple procedure,” sharing:

“We didn’t expect to come out of there without a child.”

In a Wichita Police Department incident report, the nurse anesthetist (CRNA) said Abiel was doing fine for about 30 minutes under sedation. But roughly 20 minutes later, the boy’s cheek swelled and his pulse slowed down.

Abiel was “given something,” per the report, though the details were redacted, “to try to increase his heart rate when his pulse stopped and they started CPR.” The boy was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

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In the report, the doctor who performed the procedure said he had never seen a case like this, especially in a patient without any known allergies. But Valenzuela is looking for answers: in a heartbroken Facebook post on Monday, the mother said her boy didn’t have an allergic reaction because he was under the same anesthesia he was under during a previous procedure, and he had no reaction then. She wrote:

“My boy didn’t deserve to die no matter how many [people] say it was probably an allergic reaction. I watched Doctors and nurses give CPR forever and my boy didn’t return to me. So yes I want Justice, find out what happened because he was a healthy boy. And there is someone to blame for it.”

While speaking to KSNW, Valenzuela doubled down on her need to investigate the matter as a promise to her son. She said:

“‘I couldn’t do anything for you, but I will investigate.’ It’s what I told him. It’s the only thing I can do and bring awareness.”

Unfortunately for Valenzuela, the Wichita Police Department said that no criminal investigation is underway at this time. However, the practice apparently supports the mother’s wishes for a probe to be launched.

An attorney for Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry said in a statement:

“Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry is devastated by the death of Abiel Valenzuela Zapata. We are praying for the family during this time and ask for the community to do so, as well. Like Abiel’s family, we, too, want to understand how this tragic event may have occurred. Our practice has never experienced an incident like this, and we had no reason to expect this procedure would be anything other than routine. We would like to thank the EMS first responders who arrived only a few minutes after we called 911. They continued the CPR efforts we had begun and worked feverishly to save Abiel.”

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign set up for funeral costs and other financial expenses for the boy’s family has raised over $17,000.

Our heart’s go out to Abiel’s loved ones at this devastating time, and we hope his family — and anyone else who might be going under anesthesia — learns what caused his death.

[Image via GoFundMe]

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Jul 15, 2021 06:17am PDT