Dentist Charged in Death of Patient After Trying to Remove 20 of Her Teeth

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ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) — A Connecticut dentist turned himself into Enfield police on Tuesday in connection with the death of one of his patients.

Dr. Rashmi Chhotabhai Patel, 45, of Suffield, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and tampering with evidence on Tuesday.

Judy Gan, 64, and her husband Michael arrived at Enfield Family Dental, which is located at 71 Hazard, for 20 teeth extractions, implants and grafts in Februrary 2014.

Tuesday was the one year anniversary of Gan’s death.The retired librarian, mother of two and grandmother had pre-existing medical issues that Patel was aware of, according to documents. Records show that she consented to the dental work while Patel’s office received four medical clearances from other doctors.

The retired librarian, mother of two and grandmother had pre-existing medical issues that Patel was aware of, according to documents. Records show that she consented to the dental work while Patel’s office received four medical clearances from other doctors.

However, toward the end of Gan’s procedure, Patel’s two dental assistants would later tell state health investigators about the horror that happened in the dentist’s chair.

Allegations were that Patel was repeatedly made aware that Gan’s oxygen levels were falling, yet reportedly wanted to keep working. Patel’s assistants told investigators that “an assistant asked if we could call 911 and he said no.”

The dentist soon noted one of the monitors was not working.

According to the documents, that’s when “that same assistant told Dr. Patel to stop the procedure and help her. He then injected the PT with the reversal agent. I thought we were going to stop. I was (relieved) because the oxygen was so unstable I didn’t think it was safe to keep working.”

“The PT began to wake up and she asked Dr. Patel if we could please stop the procedure and call it a day,” the assistant continued. “Dr. Patel wanted to get the implants in so I took over suctioning.”

The documents said she “kept telling Dr. Patel the PT’s oxygen was dropping. He told her not to tell him again unless it goes under 60. It kept dropping.”

It wasn’t until the situation grew worse, according to official statements and a second plea to call 911, that Patel agreed.

Gan, however, had already flatlined, according to the report.

Fifty-nine minutes after the ambulance arrived and rushed her to Bay State Medical Center in Massachusetts, Gan was pronounced dead.

The Department of Public Health and the state Dental Commission suspended Patel’s license in April. In December, the state dental commission ruled that Patel could never practice conscious sedation ever again.

Police said they were held up by the autopsy, which took almost one year to get results from, before issuing a warrant for his arrest.

The warrant remains sealed.

The autopsy revealed that Gan died of therapeutic complications related to her heart.

“Based on that investigation, we met with witnesses and state’s attorney’s office and put together enough facts in the warrant, that a level of probable cause was found,” Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza said.

The Gan family attorney said he isn’t sure what evidence police said was tampered with and wonders if state health officials will reopen its investigation.

“If the gentleman tampered with evidence and if (there is) proof he tampered with evidence, his license should be removed. No way (he should be) allowed to practice at all,”attorney Rick Kenny said.
The State Dental Commission recently ruled that Patel can only return to general dentistry, however it is unclear if that has happened.

Patel was released after posting the $25,000 bond.

12 comments

  • Mandy

    It doesn’t matter what other profession you are in, if you cause the death of another person you are charged criminally. UNLESS your a doctor.

  • Solomon Grundy

    What do people expect….You get what you pay for….So you go to a doctor that got his degree and license from some mud hut in tim-buck-to….rather than using an american doctor….oh well you get what you got coming!!

    • SMDH

      Are you kidding? He probably got his degree from the USA for FREE. Then goes home every so often so he can come back and continue to live tax free.

  • Justify

    I have a heart problem since I am 23 years old, and going to the dentist has always been a nightmare, however, the ones I have gone to try to take precautions. It depends on the KIND of problem she had. If it was an arrhythmia, the conscious sedation as it were aggravates that condition. She would’ve been better off with general anesthesia. If it was of the kind of heart problem where blockage is involved, the conscious sedation might’ve been fine. According to the documents, that’s when “that same assistant told Dr. Patel to stop the procedure and help her. He then injected the PT with the reversal agent.” that tells me it sounds like an arrhythmia.
    This clown just wanted to get her done and over with and he killed her. Piece of crap that he is. So sad.
    My son had a horrible experience where he was but 4 years old and the dentist was in a hurry, didn’t sedate him, had a clamp down in his mouth, hit something, and blood squirted everywhere. I almost killed the SOB. I was standing right there and he kept telling me to leave I kept telling him to stop and that happened. They shut him down. This guy was American and operated in a major city. Same city, diff dentist, american, and he killed a two year old by over-sedation. Doesn’t matter; some docs and dentists are just really bad, and finding a good dentist is much harder than finding a good physician. It shouldn’t have to be that way either way.

  • Keith Hinkel

    This is the fault of the State dept. allowing all these foreign Drs into America and then granting Green card status and they never pay taxes. No more. Train Americans only to be Doctors. No more foreigners.

    • DanTheHobbit

      Do you have a dossier about his immigration status, if he is indeed an immigrant and not a native US citizen with a “brown” name? Honestly, what does that even matter? As he was practicing dentistry in the United States, that means he had to be licensed under US standards. Judge the guy based on his catastrophically unprofessional negligence, not your own xenophobia.

  • jake

    “The State Dental Commission recently ruled that Patel can only return to general dentistry, however it is unclear if that has happened.”
    Name names with the dental commission. They should also be thrown in jail.

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