By Dawn Cranfield
24-Year-Old San Diego Man Dies After Routine Dental Surgery Last Month
Marek Lapinski, 24, or San Diego, California, died last month following routine oral surgery to have his wisdom teeth removed. According to medical records provided by his family and friends, Lapinski went into cardiac arrest during the procedure on March 21 and died three days later.
Dr. Steven Paul, an oral surgeon from Temecula was performing the procedure when Lapinski started to develop complications 30 minutes in.
According to ambulance reports, Paul told first responders Lapinski started to wake up and began coughing during the procedure and was given propofol, “a surgical anesthetic that killed singer Michael Jackson. Lapinski had ‘surgical gauze in (his) airway,’ the report stated, as well as a ‘small surgical cone’ that could not be removed.” (nbclosangeles.com)
The patient was then transported to Rancho Springs Medical Center and later transferred to UCLA Medical Center.
Paul’s attorney states via email that Dr. Paul provides, “state of the art services and monitoring for his patients,” but went on to say, “no surgical procedure is without risk. All standard protocols were followed during the surgery.” (nbclosangeles.com)
However, regardless of how routine the procedure was, or the risks involved, Lapinski’s family and friends are unnerved by the death of the otherwise healthy 24–year-old. Thomas Keiser, family friend, says the death was a “senseless tragedy”. (nbclosangeles.com)
No cause of death is available as of yet, as the body has not yet been examined.
April Lapinski, Marek’s mother, wants a full investigation into what may have caused her son’s death. She said Dr. Paul did come to the hospital and apologize for what happened to her son, but has not commented further.
Marek Lapinski grew up in Wexford, Penn., and was a founding partner in Total 3rd Dimension; they developed thermal and night-vision equipment for military use, according to their website. He attended Duquesne University where he played football, before moving to San Diego.
A memorial has been set up for Lapinski on Facebook.