Four complaints follow doctor involved in dental tragedy on Hilo

4 complaints follow doctor involved in dental tragedy on Hilo
Published: Mar. 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Kristen Tavares
Kristen Tavares

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kristen Tavares, 23, is still on a breathing machine and in a coma at the Maui Medical Center.

"We did find out they did do a CT scan. The brain right now is a little swollen," said Joe Tavares, Kristen's father.

The mother of two young children went in to have her wisdom teeth removed on Monday and didn't wake up. Her dad happened to be on Oahu today for his own medical appointment.

"It's a lot of stress on everybody right now," said Joe Tavares.

Dr. John Stover does a lot of procedures, everything from cosmetic to plastic surgery in addition to the oral surgery. His medical and dental licenses are in good standing.

However we discovered Dr. Stover has had four previous complaints with the state since 2010. Two complaints for "failure to comply with laws governing professional conduct" were resolved without enough evidence. Two other complaints from 2012 and 2013 are still ongoing.

He has also been sued for medical malpractice, however that case was dismissed.

Sources say Dr. Stover requested the use of full anesthesia for his dental practice in 2005, however that was denied. In 2007 he was granted the permit to use "intravenous-conscious or moderate-conscious sedation."

On his medical license he is allowed to use full anesthesia. Since oral surgery, including wisdom teeth extraction, is considered a medical procedure he would be allowed to use full anesthesia if necessary.

The section regarding anesthesia on his website says it is in development.

Today we spoke with the 17 year old girl who had her wisdom teeth removed by Dr. Stover right before Kristen Tavares.

"I just saw them stick something in my arm and I don't remember what happened after that," said the patient who requested we not use her name. "It's a scary thought because, to know that I went through the same procedure as she did, that it could have been me that couldn't have woken up, it's just really freaky."

Tavares was alone in the dentist's office and Dr. Stover hasn't returned our calls so it's unclear what exactly happened.

Experts say problems often start when breathing stops.

"Statistically it's usually an airway issue," said Daniel L. Orr II, DDS, Professor and Director, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Anesthesiology at UNLV. "Perhaps a foreign body drops into the airway like a tooth, or a piece of gauze or perhaps the patient might vomit and get fluid up their airway and then down into their lungs. That's why we have them don't eat or drink before a general anesthetic or any anesthetic."

Today the Tavares family is focused on recovery rather than blame.

"Right now all we are doing is praying and hoping for the best," said Joe Tavares.

Tavares' family says they weren't given a timeline. Right now it's a waiting game on her recovery.

Related Link:

Follow Tim Sakahara:   

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.