Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Death in the Dental Chair

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 12:12 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Defective Drugs, FDA and Prescription Drugs


Principal Georgette Watson of Chicago dies of an apparent heart attack in the dentist chair. state records show  the office had been reprimanded.

Georgette Watson, 46, was the principal of a Chicago middle school. Monday she went in for what should have been a routine root canal procedure.

Today an autopsy is scheduled to determine why she died in the dentist’s chair.

Watson reportedly went into cardiac arrest while in the offices of Feldman and Feldman, a Lakeview dentist. It is unclear which dentist was performing the root canal.  She had been given a sedative before the procedure but news reports are not specific as to whether it was a local anesthetic or she was unconscious.

Back in July, Joseph David Feldman and Lawrence W. Feldman were put on probation by the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation “due to substandard dental work and failure to maintain records.”
Despite that, the office is allowed to function allegedly monitored by the state compliance unit to make sure the nature of the alleged violation is corrected.

Watson was principal of Brentano Math and Science Academy, a K through 8th grade school located in Logan Square. On the school website Watson wrote-

"At Brentano, we prepare our students to become the leaders of tomorrow. It is my belief that by working together, we can guide our children to become lifelong learners."

The well liked teacher was known to help everyone she encountered.  Clerk Ilene Morris told IB News that “a crisis intervention team is here, the chief executive officer. We’re just trying to keep it under control. We’re still in shock.”

Local station, CBS2Chicago has the story. 

Death in the dental chair is reported to be an unusual event, usually due to anesthesia.

In the 2001 book,  Forensic Pathology by Vincent J.M. DiMaio says stress, fear and pain coupled with anesthesia can precipitate a heart attack.  One of the most common causes of death in a dental chair is an overdose of a general anesthesia that causes unconsciousness. 

Out of 120 cases profiled in the book, 100 deaths in the dental chair were due to general anesthetic or that coupled with a pre-existing condition.

 The Independent newspaper in London reported that in 1999 a five-year-old boy died because he had a rare heart muscle disorder that contributed to his heart attack in the dental chair.

The British Journal of Anaesthesia reports in 1998 that all inhalation anesthetics lower the threshold for arrhythmias, an irregular beating of the heart.

Conscious sedation, using laughing gas is thought to relieve most dental anxiety as an alternative to general anesthesia.

Consumers should visit their state Department of Professional Regulation online to check the professional standing of their dentist.



Anonymous User
Posted by dave
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 7:16 PM EST

cancel my appointment!

Anonymous User
Posted by Gene Storm
Friday, December 21, 2007 1:02 PM EST

This is of course a tragedy. My condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, and students.
I also would like to share my personal experiences regarding Dr. Lawrence and Joseph Feldman.

I first came to Dr. Lawrence Feldman more than 20 years ago after undergoing jaw surgery for TMJ disorder. The surgery was successful but left me in need of extensive dental work. Prior to seeing Dr. Feldman, I had several discouraging experiences with other dentists and was extremely nervous about all the dental work that I needed.

I know both Dr Lawrence and Joseph Feldman to be compassionate, dedicated professionals. I intend to maintain them both as my dentists.

Anonymous User
Posted by Wronged in the dental chair
Saturday, December 22, 2007 11:35 AM EST

Some one needs to check into the root canal filling material that was used on her. See links below. It sometimes includes peanut oil/eugenol. Was she allergic to peanuts or formaldehyde? Dentists don't usually admit to using it. Some have lied under oath.



Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes