Cam Fortems – Kamloops This Week
Two lawsuits in B.C. Supreme Court will determine whether a Kamloops dental surgeon is liable for the severe brain injury of an 18-year-old patient who went to his clinic to have her wisdom teeth removed.
Meanwhile, the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. warned its penalty hearing for Dr. Bobby Rishiraj may be delayed because he has filed in B.C. Supreme Court notice of an appeal of the college’s findings.
The statement of claim for the appeal of the College’s findings has not yet been filed.
Following a hearing earlier this year, the college found the dental surgeon acted incompetently when he administered deep sedation to his patient in order to extract her wisdom teeth in November 2012.
The panel of experts found neither Rishiraj nor his facility were authorized to provide deep sedation. It also found he did not adequately monitor her vital signs nor take proper steps to resuscitate the woman when she went into cardiac arrest.
That patient, Hamu Zindoga, has separately filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Rishiraj, as well as against his dental assistant, Sara Chalmers, in B.C. Supreme Court.
It seeks unspecified damages for Zindoga, who is represented by her mother as a litigation guardian. Zindoga now lives in a Okanagan residential treatment centre for people with brain injuries.
In addition to the allegations and findings heard at the college hearing, the malpractice suit also claims an ambulance attendant discovered a piece of gauze blocking Zindoga’s airway.
After the gauze was removed, the paramedic intubated Zindoga, who had stopped breathing.
Rishiraj filed a response in B.C. Supreme Court, admitting he was not approved to provide deep sedation, but denying other allegations. The response said Rishiraj and Chalmers recognized Zindoga’s cardiac arrest and started appropriate resuscitation.
The response to the lawsuit also claims Zindoga’s mother, Evelyn, failed to disclose her daughter was admitted to Royal Inland Hospital’s emergency department for complaints of chest pain prior to surgery.
The response also stated Rishiraj was not told Zindoga was being treated and taking medication for migraines and psychiatric illness.
The trial is scheduled for Oct. 17, 2016.
Rishiraj grew up in Vavenby and is a graduate of Clearwater Secondary School.