Pierce County dentist suspended following patient's death during sedation

A Pierce County dentist has been suspended after one of his patients died while under sedation.

According to a Friday press release from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), the Dental Quality Assurance Commission suspended Thi D. Nguyen’s dentist license and moderate sedation permit.

Nguyen’s charges state that he did not adequately and accurately:

  • Assess the patient’s level of risk before the dental procedure
  • Conduct a medical consultation with the patient’s physician
  • Properly monitor the patient during the procedure
  • Provide enough medication to reverse the effects of the sedatives used during the procedure

According to the DOH, the patient allegedly had a drop in oxygen saturation level, heart rate and blood pressure. These ultimately led to the patient’s death.

Until the charges are resolved, Nguyen cannot practice in the state of Washington. As of Friday, he has 20 days to respond to the charges and request a hearing.

Anyone who believes a health care provider acted unprofessionally is encouraged to report a complaint by calling 360-236-4700.

This is a developing story.