Little Boy's Dentist Visit Ends Tragically

| by Zara Zhi
Caleb SearsCaleb Sears

A California family is advocating for a new law that would prevent other children from suffering the same fate as their 6-year-old son, Caleb.

Tim and Eliza Sears took their son Caleb to an oral surgeon’s office near Berkeley, California, to have a tooth removed in March 2015.

Unfortunately, Caleb died of complications from general anesthesia, reports KGTV.

"They didn't catch it when he stopped breathing and until his oxygen levels had dropped too low and he went into cardiac arrest," said Tim.

The Sears believe he’d still be alive if there had been a trained anesthesiologist in the room to preside over the procedure and monitor their son.

"The fact that there's increased risks when there's not a separate person doing the anesthesia as doing the procedure was not disclosed at all," said Tim.

Now, the Sears are pushing for Caleb's Law. On April 5, a committee in the state Assembly in Sacramento will consider AB 2235.

If the bill is passed, dentists and oral surgeons would have to tell parents of the increased risk when general anesthesia is administered without a separate anesthesia provider or without the suggested monitoring equipment.

The new law would also require the California Dental Board to gather, study and share information about mortalities and injuries from dental anesthesia, according to the site Caleb's Law.

"The fact that dentists and oral surgeons are allowed to do this and no one else is doesn't make sense," said Tim.

The California Dental Association issued a statement saying:

"As we await the results of the Board's evaluation, we are reassured by knowing that each year in California, thousands of children receive general anesthesia to protect them from the stress of receiving medically necessary dental treatment; and deaths from the anesthesia are rare."

Sources: KGTV, Caleb's Law  / Photo credit:

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