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Friday, September 29, 2023
Sept. 29, 2023

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Vancouver boy’s death at dentist ruled drug intoxication

By , Columbian Health Reporter

A 4-year-old Vancouver boy died of multiple drug intoxication after receiving anesthesia during a dental procedure in March, the Clark County Medical Examiner’s office announced Friday.

Mykel Wayne Peterson died March 10 after undergoing dental work at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry, 601 S.E. 117th Ave., in Vancouver. The medical examiner’s office determined multiple drug intoxication from anesthesia used for the restoration of cavities was the cause of the boy’s death. The manner of death was natural, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Soon after the boy’s death, the Washington State Medical Commission and the state Dental Quality Assurance Commission launched investigations into the providers who treated Mykel.

The medical commission investigation is ongoing. The dental commission investigation has been completed. The findings are now before a review commission that will determine the next steps, said David Johnson, a state Department of Health spokesman. There is no timeline for when a decision will be made by the review commission.

Cases with completed investigations will either be closed or statements of charges will be filed, which could lead to disciplinary action against the providers.
In the meantime, the providers can continue to see patients, and the pediatric dental office remains open. The health department does not release the names of providers unless formal charges are filed.

During a routine dental visit, Mykel’s dentist suggested a repair to a previous treatment, but there were complications with the procedure, according to an online donation page set up for Mykel’s family.

The boy was anesthetized and later brought out to the waiting room, Mykel’s mother told The Columbian’s news partner KATU in March. Mykel was breathing at the time, but his mother was worried that he’d been unconscious for too long.

When Mykel stopped breathing, emergency personnel were called to the dentist office and transported Mykel to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, KATU reported.

Columbian Health Reporter