Roanoke, Virginia


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Dan Frith
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Virginia Dentist Fined: 3 Year Old Almost Dies

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Here is a scary, but true, story! Kathryn Biery, a Harrisonburg, Virginia dentist lost her license over the misuse of anesthesia, which is used frequently in dental procedures. Dr. Biery, among other things, failed to complete a comprehensive pre-operative assessment of a 3 year-old girl. More importantly, the amount of Vistaril given to the young girl to sedate her prior to the dental procedure exceeded the FDA recommended dosage.

The overdose of Vistaril almost led to the death of the 3-year-old named Dakota, according to newspaper accounts. Dakota suffered a bronchspasm, a tightening of the muscles around the lungs. The young girl was taken by helicopter to the University of Virginia hospital where she recovered.

Biery, according to the order by the Virginia Board of Dentistry, also allowed an unlicensed dental assistant to administer nitrous oxide to the same girl and allowed unlicensed personal to handle anesthesia, push medications, and start IV’s. Dr. Biery was the focus on of a story on dental sedation by the Harrisonburg paper.

A consent order on file with the Board of Dentistry contains the details of this sad case. Biery told the Board she has changed her procedures. She was fined $24,000, given two years of probation and must enroll in 45 hours of continuing education classes.