A 24-year-old California man died unexpectedly three days after having his wisdom teeth removed. His family is questioning the medical care he received during what is usually a routine procedure.
According to ABC News, a patient care report released by American Medical Response says that Marek Lapinski, a software developer from San Diego, woke up coughing during the oral surgery procedure. He was given the powerful anesthetic propofol. When he stopped breathing, CPR was started and the paramedics were called.
Lapinski was transferred to a hospital, where he died three days later, ABC News said. According to the patient care report, the paramedics who came to the scene when Lapinski stopped breathing found two pieces of surgical gauze in his airway as they tried to intubate him.
Dr. Steven Paul, the oral surgeon, has not commented on Lapinski’s death. In a statement on the doctor’s behalf, his attorney said that Dr. Paul “has always provided the highest level of oral surgery care to his patients,” but added, “safe as oral surgery is in today’s environment, no surgical procedure is without risk.” The attorney said that all standard protocols were followed.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is conducting an autopsy. April Lapinski, Marek Lapinski’s mother, told ABC News that the family would wait for the coroner’s report before deciding whether to pursue legal action.