Brain Death Causes Three Year Old to Die After Routine Root Canal

Brain DeathImproper dosage of incorrect medications is believed to be the cause of Finley Boyle’s brain death according to her family. The three year old died on Friday night after routine root canal rendered her brain dead for about a month, say the family’s lawyers. The family’s lawyers released the statement and they have already announced a lawsuit charging Lilly Geyer’s practice in Kailua, Hawaii.

The lawsuit alleges that “negligence and dangerous conduct,” were what caused young Finley Boyle’s brain death. It also alleges that the three year old was sedated but then left without supervision for 26 minutes.

The girl’s family was in attendance when she passed away at Hospice Hawaii’s Kailua branch. The child had been in the hospital immediately following the operation but was later moved to the hospice in late December.

The lawsuit was actually filed on Monday and charges Geyer with having no plan ready to put into effect once Finley Boyle’s operation became a medical emergency. The lawsuit is being filed in the First Circuit Court of Hawaii.

Ashley Boyle, Finley’s mother said that she had brought her daughter to the dentist as part of a routine checkup in November. After the consult she was told Finley needed four root canals and six fillings. She then brought Finley back for the operation in December.

The child was rushed to the hospital after the failed root canal. At the hospital she was looked at by Dr. Gregory Yen a pediatric neurologist. After observing the girl Yen concluded that she had underwent extensive brain death, he also added that the three year old was in a complete vegetative state.

Dr. Yen’s prognosis that the girl had suffered brain death led to a very serious and difficult decision for the Boyle’s. After consulting with the doctors the Boyle’s decided to unhook the feeding tubes that were the only thing keeping their daughter from dying. Family members looked on as the young girl died of brain death at 8:47pm.

The family has not made much contact with the media in the wake of this tragedy. Instead they have opted to let their attorney’s do the talking and to handle their case against island Dentistry for Children.

“Her parents can’t believe anyone would want to live not knowing they’re alive, going through terrible seizures. They didn’t want to see her going through puberty in diapers,” the family’s attorney Rick Fried said on Saturday.

Finley’s brain death is another story in a long line of recent headlines concerning loved one’s being taken off life support. Certainly hers can be seen as one of the most tragic of these brain death cases because she was only three years old at the time of the accident and additionally her brain occurred after routine surgery.

The girl’s mother, who is also a registered nurse, said that Geyer did not take the right precautions and that is why her daughter suffered brain death and had to be let go. During the surgery the girl was given large doses of Demerol, hydroxyzine and chloral hydrate which caused the brain death which caused her to die after routine root canal at only the age of three years old.

By Nick Manai

NY Post

ABC News

Ozarks First

4 Responses to "Brain Death Causes Three Year Old to Die After Routine Root Canal"

  1. Don   January 7, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Someone should countersue for parental negligence! A THREE year old requiring ALL that work?? Did the daughter even HAVE a toothbrush? Holy crap.

  2. jim c   January 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    “she had underwent extensive…”

    What kind of English is that?

  3. Ben Stephens   January 4, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Such a terrible tragedy. This leaves me with two questions: 1) was proper monitoring of this child undertaken during anesthesia? – it would appear not; 2) why on Earth would a 3 year old need 4 root canals and 6 fillings?!? Either this child has had severe dental neglect, terrible diet, or possibly malformation of teeth. Being a dentist I know the likelihood of the former two is much more likely than the latter but every parent wants to try to blame genetics. Your terrible oral health has much more to do with the fact you drink soda every day, rarely consume fluoridated water, eat way too many carbs, never floss, brush sporadically, and when you do brush – you do a terrible job. Your uncle Gomer may have terrible teeth, too, but its because you have similar hygiene habits;)

    Finally, root canal treatment had NOTHING to do with her death – clearly is a sedation tragedy.

    Check out to find out more about terrible root canals, how to fix them, and prevent terrible root canals in the first place. If you need a root canal, God forbid, have it done PROPERLY.


  4. Stupefly   January 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Brain death does not lead to death or “cause” death. It is not a terminal illness that leads to death. It is death. When you’re brain dead, you’re dead, medically and legally, even if the heart continues to beat due to medical interventions.


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