STOCKTON (CBS13) — Family and friends of a Stockton 3-year-old girl who suddenly died after undergoing oral surgery came together on Friday night for a vigil remembering her life.
They gathered at the surgery center where Daleyza Avila-Hernandez’s heart stopped beating, while she was under anesthesia.
“Tonight is all about a vigil because this is where she passed,” the girl’s aunt Yolanda Dawson said.
A picture at the vigil shows her beautiful big brown eyes and rosy cheeks.
“She’s an angel, she’s an angel,” Dawson said.
A trip to get her teeth fixed at this oral surgery center –somehow leading to her death. Administrators told her mother her heart stopped beating.
“We only treat patients here with an anesthesiologist and a dentist separately, with both of them here at the same time,” Children’s Dental Surgery Center Administrator David Thompson said. “We do not do what we call single operator where one dentist does the anesthesia and the dentistry at the same time. We are fully equipped like a small hospital.”
Avila-Hernandez’s case is highlighting a years-long pediatric dental care battle at the state Capitol to reduce the risk of children’s deaths in dental surgeries.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics feels that this is extremely important, we know that children have died in the dental office, and from lack of expertise and airway management,” Dr. Zoe Goore said.
A bill called Caleb’s Law, named after a 6-year-old who died in oral surgery in 2015, launched efforts for stricter guidelines for pediatric dental surgery, where the required training to administer sedation drugs in dental surgeries is lower than in other healthcare professions.
“I find it a little frightening,” Dr. Goore said.
A little girls trip to the dentist ends in her death.
“No one understand,” Dawson said.
Now her short life is serving as a renewed spotlight on California’s laws for pediatric dental surgery.
The latest reform bill for dental surgery rules passed through the Assembly and is now in the Senate.
Avila-Hernandez will be laid to rest on Tuesday.