3-year-old Hawaii girl, left brain dead after dentist visit, dies
Finley Boyle, the 3-year-old Hawaii girl who who suffered massive brain damage after undergoing a dental procedure last month, has died, according to hospice.
According to a statement released by Kenneth L. Zeri, president and chief professional officer of Hospice Hawaii, Finley died with her parents and other relatives by her side.
"There are few greater privileges in life than to accompany someone on their end-of-life journey, providing comfort and support not only to that person but also to their loved ones," Zeri wrote.
"As with all of our patients, we were truly blessed to be able to be there for the The Boyle Family and for Finley at the end of her journey. The family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers."
The Boyle family has filed a lawsuit against the Kailua dentist who treated Finley, alleging negligence and dangerous conduct in sedating the child.
Ashley and Evan Boyle filed the lawsuit Monday against Lilly Geyer and unidentified staff members at Island Dentistry for Children, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday. The lawsuit seeks special and general damages.
The injured girl, Finley Boyle, was diagnosed with 10 cavities and in need of four root canals in her first dental exam, according to plaintiffs. The plaintiffs say the child returned Dec. 3 and was given high doses of Demerol, hydroxyzine and chloral hydrate, as well as nitrous oxide.
The girl has been unresponsive since then.
"She will probably not be with us much longer," said Ashley Boyle, a registered nurse. "We were all hoping. Even the doctors are in tears. We were all just waiting for her to wake up."
Geyer and her staff have not responded to requests from the newspaper for comment.
The plaintiffs' attorney, Rick Fried Jr., said there's no evidence all precautions were taken. He also said most of the dental work was unnecessary.
Dental records obtained by Fried show three notations on the child's vital signs that morning. According to guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, vital signs should be monitored and documented at least every five minutes for patients undergoing sedation.
Boyle said she became aware of the problem when she saw emergency responders arrive. The staff also summoned a pediatrician down the hall, according to Boyle.
Geyer was issued a license to practice dentistry in the state in July 2005. As of last month, there were no records of complaints against her or her practice on file with the Hawaii Department Of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
Boyle said her child would be healthy today if simple precautions had been taken.
The Associated Press contributed to this report