Dentist suspended for 12 months after patient bled to death following surgery

A dentist in the United Kingdom has been suspended for one year after he removed five teeth from a woman who later bled to death. 

Tushar Kantibhai Patel, a dentist at Confidential Clinics in Purley, South London, received the 12-month suspension on Tuesday, following a ruling by the country's General Dental Council (GDC). 

The unnamed woman, identified as Patient A in the GDC's report, came to Patel's office to have five teeth pulled so she could later be fitted for dentures. She died just two days later. 

Patient A reportedly warned Patel before her surgery that she was taking Warfarin, an anti-blood-clotting medicine she used to treat her rare blood disorder. Patel, meanwhile, did not discuss or advise his patient against the medicine's potential side effects, instead deciding "it was safe to proceed."

But the evening after her surgery, Patient A checked into the emergency room with severe bleeding in her mouth. Staff at the hospital managed to stop the bleeding with gauze and advised the woman not to rinse her mouth for 24 hours. 

The woman went home that night but collapsed from bleeding again the next morning. She was rushed to the hospital again — but died the following day. 

Patel, a dentist with more than 30 years of experience, admitted to his involvement in the incident. He told the GDC he accepted his punishment, expressing his "sincere remorse" for the "tragic outcome" his patient suffered. 

The dentist said that he should have limited the woman's extractions to just three teeth for visit in an effort to reduce bleeding. He noted that he will take several self-induced steps — such as reporting to a monthly advisor and submitting to an audit of his other cases — to ensure a similar incident never happens again.

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