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Autopsy: Sedation drugs given to 3-year-old during dental procedure likely caused her death

HONOLULU, Hawaii - A 3-year-old Hawaii girl who suffered a heart attack during a dentist visit likely died because of the drugs given to sedate her, according to a medical examiner's autopsy report.

Finley Puleo Boyle, of Kailua, probably died because of the sedatives and local anesthesia that were administered during her December dental procedure, Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Happy concluded in his autopsy report. He classified the death as an accident.

The girl lapsed into a coma Dec. 3 in the office of Dr. Lilly Geyer at Island Dentistry for Children. She died Jan 3. The office has since closed.

The autopsy report said the previously healthy girl had no signs of underlying heart problems or an allergic reaction to the array of sedatives and anesthetic she received in preparation for cavity fillings and root canals, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ( ) reported Friday.

The medical examiner noted her teeth were in good shape: "the oral cavity has native dentition in good repair."

Finley received five drugs, according to the report, including Demerol, hydroxyzine and chlorohydrate. She was also given laughing gas and an injection of a local anesthetic, lidocaine with epinephrine.

"Immediately following the lidocaine injection, the decedent became unresponsive and went into cardiopulmonary arrest," Happy said in his report.

Parents Ashley and Evan Boyle filed a negligence lawsuit while their only child was in a coma. Their attorney, Rick Fried, would not comment on the autopsy report.

Geyer's attorney, John Nishimoto, has called the allegations "unproven" but declined to comment further because of the lawsuit. He didn't respond to the newspaper's requests for comment on the autopsy report Thursday.

Geyer was issued a license to practice dentistry in the state in July 2005, the Star-Advertiser has previously reported. As of last December, there were no records of complaints against her or her practice on file with the Hawaii Department Of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, according to the newspaper.

In January, new state rules took effect tightening oversight of dental sedation in Hawaii.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser,

The Canadian Press

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