The family of a Woodstock man who died in April after being sedated during a routine tooth extraction surgery filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against a Rockford dentist.
On April 7, Lyle Schmidt, 57, of Woodstock, underwent tooth extraction surgery at the office of Dr. Kurtis E. Wirth in Rockford, according to the Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard law firm.
Dr. Wirth administered Lorazepam, Promethazine, Fentanyl, Versed and Ketamine intravenously to Schmidt as part of the surgery, court documents said.
Approximately 20 to 30 minutes into the surgery, Schmidt indicated that he needed to use the restroom, the law firm said.
Dr. Wirth removed three or four teeth at the time Schmidt indicated he needed to use the restroom.
Dr. Wirth then gave Schmidt doses of Flumazenil and Naloxone, which are reversal drugs.
Shortly after the doses were administered, Schmidt’s oxygen levels started to decline.
He then stopped breathing, fell backward and went into cardiac arrest, the law firm said.
Schmidt was transported by ambulance to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford where he died three days later.
On Tuesday, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard attorneys Matthew L. Williams and John A. Mennie filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the dentist on behalf of Schmidt’s family.
The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Wirth utilized deep sedation without a proper license to do so.
It also alleges Dr. Wirth improperly administered intravenous sedation in an office setting for a high-risk patient and failed to monitor the sedation or protect Schmidt’s airway.
Schmidt is survived by two brothers and his partner of more than 20 years, the law firm said.
“Dr. Wirth’s website boasts that he is one of the few practicing dentists in the state of Illinois licensed to provide intravenous (IV) sedation, yet he failed to adequately assess the risk for an office based anesthetic and formulate an appropriate intra-operative anesthetic plan,” plaintiff’s attorney John A. Mennie said.
“Had Dr. Wirth taken the proper precautions, Lyle would have walked out of the office that day with just some minor pain and would still be with us today,” Mennie added.
CORRECTION: Although the law firm stated in a press release that doses of Flumazenil and Naloxone were given to keep Schmidt asleep, those drugs are reversal drugs. The story has been corrected.