Medical Malpractice Suit Filed in Unusual Hypoxia Death of Teen Following Routine Oral Surgery

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The parents of a Maryland teen who died 10 days after losing oxygen during a routine wisdom tooth surgery are suing the doctors involved for medical malpractice.

The civil suit against anesthesiologist Dr. Krista Michelle Isaacs and oral surgeon Dr. Domenick Coletti is the latest development in an unusual medical case that shocked the Marriotts Ridge High School community, where Jennifer "Jenny" Michelle Olenick was a smiley, 17-year-old junior involved in choir.

The suit claims that Isaacs and Coletti were negligent in their care of Olenick and failed to resuscitate her after her heart rate slowed to a "panic level" of 40 beats per minute and her body began losing oxygen.

The suit claims those failures led to Olenick not having a pulse when emergency responders arrived at Coletti's Columbia, Maryland office, and that they directly allowed for the "massive and irreversible brain injury" that resulted in her death April 6.

The suit follows an investigation by the state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which found the central cause of death was hypoxia — a deprivation of oxygen — that occurred while Olenick was anesthetized during the procedure.

Olenick's mother, Cathy Garger, called her daughter's death "needless" and said she hopes to raise awareness of dental-related deaths nationwide.

"I am trying to make people aware that a routine visit to the dentist or an oral surgeon can turn out anything but routine," she told The Baltimore Sun (read full story here)

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