A Los Angeles coroner's report finds the death of a 24-year-old man who died following dental surgery in Temecula was an accident, The Press-Enterprise is reporting.
Marek Lapinski of Murrieta "suffered fatal brain injury March 21 after going into cardiac arrest at the office of Dr. Steven F. Paul," The Press-Enterprise reported following review of records from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
The coroner's report finds Lapinski underwent "repeated dosing of anesthesia during oral surgery," according to The Press-Enterprise.Paramedics were called to the doctor’s office on Margarita Road the morning of March 21 following complications with Lapinski. Lapinski was transported to Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, but was later transported to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office. Lapinski was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m. at UCLA the facility, according to the coroner records.
Lapinski’s mother April told KTLA News that first-responder reports indicate her son began to cough during the March 21 dental surgery and was administered Propofol. The drug is used during anesthesia, according to drug labeling. Following the Propofol administration, Marek went into cardiac arrest and may have had a piece of surgical gauze blocking his airway, April told KTLA.
The coroner's office did not make any findings on the gauze, but stated, “It is unclear if Mr. Lapinski was choking on gauze or a large blood clot,” The Press-Enterprise reported.
Paul’s attorney Clark Hudson responded with a statement to Patch in May.
"Dr. Steven Paul has always provided the highest level of oral surgery care to his patients. He maintains an oral surgical suite that provides state of the art services and monitoring for his patients. However, as safe as oral surgery is in today’s environment, no surgical procedure is without risk,” Hudson said.
“The circumstances regarding Mr. Lapinksi’s complications are not completely understood,” Hudson continued. “What is understood is that Mr. Lapinski’s complications occurred despite the fact there were no apparent contraindications for his oral surgery, routine anesthetic medications were being used for the procedure, and immediate measures were undertaken to revive the patient as soon as the patient began to decompensate. The reason for the patient’s decompensation is unknown, however, all standard protocols were followed. Dr. Paul, and his staff’s, thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Lapinski, Mr. Lapinski’s family and close friends.”
According to an April 1 CBS Pittsburgh news report, Marek grew up in Pennsylvania and was a former North Allegheny High School and Duquesne University football player. Family friend Tony Keiser told the news agency, “A healthy non-smoking 24-year-old young adult does not die in a dental chair.”