CT dentist accused of patient's death has hearing continued - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT dentist accused of patient's death has hearing continued

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The Enfield dentist who is being accused of a patient's death reportedly had his license suspended more than two months after the woman who died within minutes of leaving the dentist's chair.

The state's Dental Commission is on a fact-finding mission to determine his future, and the second day of testimony was held on Wednesday.

It is ultimately up to the commission to decide whether Dr. Rishmi Patel will ever practice dentistry again here in the state.

His license was suspended on April 21 and it could be months before it is decided.

On Wednesday, two former employees testified in a hearing in front of the Dental Commission, one of whom broke her silence about Judy Gan's death in the dentist's chair.

"I thought it should be investigated, someone died," said Stephanie Farnan, a former dental assistant.

She sent an anonymous email to the state's Department of Public Health in February, which launched the investigation.

The email was delivered just days after 64-year-old Judy Gan died after having 20 tooth extractions, implants and bone grafts.

"She was making a wheezing sound," Farnan said.

The state suspended Patel's dental license, questioning whether he deviated from the standards of care.

Former employees said the dentist ignored their concerns for both Gan and another patient's deteriorating health, and delegated the monitoring of conscious sedation to his staff.

"The patient started to gag," said Brandy Kline, a former employee. "The doctor told me I should start the nitrous, and I said I wouldn't."

The dentist and his attorneys feel the Department of Public Health jumped the gun, pointing out that results from Judy Gan's autopsy are still pending.

Patel's attorney said he questions the credibility of some of the dentist's employees, and has a video surveillance of state health officials helping to write witness statements at Patel's office.

It will likely be months before there is a final outcome.

A spokesman for Massachusetts, where Gan's autopsy is being done, said that it is not unusual for an investigation to take this long.

The hearing will continue next Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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