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Kamloops dentist Bobby Rishiraj's mistake leaves patient with severe brain damage

07/06/2015 06:36 EDT | Updated 07/06/2016 05:59 EDT
A B.C. dentist will face a penalty hearing for incompetent practice after he administered deep sedation that led to a heart attack that left the patient with severe brain damage.

But despite its findings, a panel of the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. (CDSBC) has decided to allow Dr. Bobby Rishiraj to continue practicing as an oral surgeon in Kamloops until it holds the hearing.

Rishiraj runs a private clinic known as the Kamloops Oral Surgery and Implant Centre.

In its ruling, the panel found Rishiraj was only authorized to provide moderate sedation when a patient came to see him in November 2012 to have her wisdom teeth removed.

Instead, it said, Rishiraj administered deep sedation without following the proper medical procedures for this type of drug.

When things began to go wrong, the dentist failed to recognize "in a timely way" that his patient was having a heart attack, accordingly to the panel. As a result, resuscitation was delayed.

College describes case as tragedy

The panel also said Rishiraj ran his practice to promote "efficiencies" by treating as many patients in as short a time as possible and failed to adequately monitor patients that were under sedation.

In a statement, the college's CEO Jerome Marburg described the case as a tragedy.

"Our hearts and thoughts go out to the patient and her family," he said. "They have shown incredible courage and grace throughout this ordeal."

Although Rishiraj is allowed to continue his practice until the penalty hearing, the college says it is imposing conditions limiting the dentist to one type of moderate sedation and requiring he hire additional expert staff.

"For now, we are satisfied that the public is protected," said Marburg. "CDSBC required Dr. Rishiraj to make changes to his practice to ensure patient safety is paramount."

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