Two California parents are searching for answers after their 3-year-old daughter died during a routine dental procedure.
Araceli Avila brought her daughter, Daleyza Avila Hernandez, to Children's Dental Surgery in Stockton, California, after being referred there by another dentist. KTXL reports that the 3-year-old girl was set to have two teeth pulled and have caps placed on two other teeth.
“When we left for the hospital she ran after me, got into the van, and she was very happy,” said Daleyza's father, Jose Hernandez.
Avila said that she wasn't allowed in the operating room while the procedure was taking place for hygienic reasons. After she sat in the waiting room for about 30 minutes, she noticed an ambulance pull up.
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"I stood up and went outside because I was like 'they are coming for a kid,' but I never thought it was for my child," she said.
A nurse took Avila aside and told her that something had gone wrong during the procedure. Daleyza had an adverse reaction to the anesthetics and her heart stopped.
Daleyza was transported to an area hospital where she later died. Doctors are still unsure as to the cause of death.
"The nurse said ‘not to worry; maybe she has a heart problem that you didn’t know about.’ That is not true, my daughter was very healthy," Avila told The Record in Stockton.
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David Thompson, administrator of Children's Dental Surgery Center, said that this is the first time a child has died at the clinic. He could not give specifics about the dentist and the anesthesiologist who performed the surgery, but maintained that all of his staff is extensively trained and highly competent.
"I’ve been working here for 10 years and I’ve never had a situation like this," he said. "I hope that I never will again."
The Dental Board of California has confirmed that it is beginning an investigation into the incident.
"[We are] aware of the tragic situation," the board said in a statement. "An investigation is underway so specific details of the case cannot be shared at this time. Consumer protection is the board’s highest concern and we want to extend our deepest sympathy to the family."
Araceli told KTXL that she wants parents to hear her story to possibly prevent this from happening again in the future.
"All I did was I took my daughter to the dentist because they were going to fix her teeth, and about 30 minutes later they brought her back dead."