My son was given an overdose of nitrous oxide at the dentist...

by Anonymous
(USA)

My son went to the dentist for a filling and was given so much nitrous oxide that his eyes were unable to focus and he couldn't respond to me. I asked the dental assistant why he couldn't respond. She turned down the nitrous oxide and got the dentist, who immediately turned OFF the nitrous oxide and turned on the oxygen.

She then moved my son to an upright position and gave him water to drink. The assistant was telling him to hold the cup, but he couldn't even see where the cup was, so I took it from her and fed him the water myself! After a minute or so he was able to focus and respond to me. He said his head hurt and his stomach felt upset.

Please let me know what I should do about this situation. Does this constitute a lawsuit? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My son was given an overdose of nitrous oxide at the dentist... ":

Anonymous (USA):

The excess administration of nitrous oxide alone doesn't constitute the basis of a lawsuit. To constitute a lawsuit your son would have to have been injured from the nitrous oxide.

It appears the dentist, via his assistant, wasn't monitoring the administration of the nitrous oxide properly. Although the failure to monitor the amount of nitrous oxide was improper, there is a very slight possibility your son was injured. The "hazy" or "confused" state albeit unsettling, doesn't constitute an "injury."

Nitrous oxide, also known as N20-02 has been around since the 18th century. It is commonly referred to as "laughing gas." The machines which administer the nitrous are regulated by the manufacturers to contain at least 30% oxygen. As a result, a patient cannot be deprived of the oxygen necessary to maintain brain function.

Although it is doubtful your son was injured, it would be best for you to take him to his physician for a checkup.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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