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An 87-year-old woman had four of her teeth extracted at a dental clinic in Bedok, but continued to bleed after the procedure and found herself unable to walk after waking up the next day.
Madam Chen Shu Diao, was allegedly told that the surgery would take 20 minutes, but the actual procedure extended to about 30 minutes.
During the process, Madam Chen was also given five injections of local anaesthetic.
The daughter of Madam Chen, Cai Hua Xiang, 65, told Shin Min Daily News that her mother had visited the dental clinic on June 22 for a checkup, and basic procedures such as teeth cleaning and cavity filling.
A dentist then reportedly told Madam Chen that four of her teeth had rotted, and recommended to extract them.
Said Ms Cai:
“After the third tooth was removed, they found that the four tooth was broken, and recommended her to undergo a surgery to remove it.
“When my mother called to inform me about the surgery, I told her to remind the dentist of her advanced age. I was concerned that she would be unsuitable to undergo the procedure due to her age.
“However, the dentist told her that it was just a minor operation and there was no need to worry.”
The dentist then proceeded with the procedure which took about half an hour. Ms Cai added that the procedure was very painful for her mother and the dentist had to administer five injections of local anaesthetic.
Ms Cai said that she expected the surgical wounds to stop bleeding after one or two hours, but her mother continued feeling discomfort after leaving the clinic.
“When my mother reached home, the wounds continued bleeding and there was so much blood, it overflowed from her mouth.
“She also became dizzy and could not breathe properly. We started panicking and brought her to a clinic nearby, but her condition did not improve.
“When she woke up the next day, she could not walk. We immediately took her to a hospital.“
Ms Cai revealed that her mother suffers from high blood pressure, and during a checkup at the hospital, the doctors discovered a blood clot in Madam Chen’s head.
Said Ms Cai:
“The doctor told us that the blood clot could have been due to my mother feeling nervous during the surgical procedure which led to her blood pressure spiking. This could have led to the formation of the blood clot if she had poor blood circulation.”
Ms Cai also voiced two major concerns — Why didn't the dentist inform her and her family before deciding on the operation procedure? Was it appropriate to administer the five jabs of local anaesthetic despite her mother’s advanced age?
“After the incident, a representative from the dental clinic visited my mother with some gifts. I am grateful for their gesture, but I told them that I was more concerned about my mother’s health and wellbeing, so I could not accept the gifts.”
In response to media queries, a spokesman from the clinic said the clinic will thoroughly investigate every complaint, and continue to provide the highest standard of treatment for its patients.
However, the spokesman also said that the clinic would be unable to comment on any issues pertaining to the patient due to patient confidentiality.
The spokesman said:
“We will seriously investigate and review every complaint to maintain a high degree of transparency to our patients.”
Lastly, the spokesman added that the clinic seeks to build meaningful relationships with its patients and provide dental treatment that is both honest and ethical.