Daisy Lynn Torres, a 14-month-old girl who died following a routine dental procedure in March, experienced complications of anesthesia administered for the treatment of dental cavities, the Travis County Medical Examiner s office confirmed to PEOPLE.
The Austin, Texas toddler’s manner of death has been classified as undetermined, as non-natural deaths must be classified as accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined.
Daisy Lynn was taken to Austin Children’s Dentistry in North Austin for a “routine” dental crown procedure, but halfway through the treatment, her mother was informed that a complication had occurred and an ambulance was on the way to take her daughter to the hospital.
Within a few hours, Daisy Lynn was pronounced dead – leaving her family in a state of shock and confusion. The girl’s mother, Betty Squier, said the dental office had told her that sedating young patients was common and safe.
Austin Children’s Dentistry released a statement saying the office “continues to be saddened by this tragedy.”
“We have been waiting for the medical examiner’s report in hopes that it would bring some closure for the family,” the statement continues. “We understand it has been classified as “undetermined” due to anesthesia complications administered by a Board Certified Medical Anesthesiologist and not because of a dental procedure. We know there are always risks associated with anesthesia, however, the loss of a child is particularly tragic.”
In April, Betty Squier told PEOPLE that she spoke with the office’s contracted anesthesiologist before he administered the drug to her daughter who was sitting in her lap.
“I talked with the anesthesiologist before he put her under,” she said. “He was telling me how beautiful my baby was and how the procedure would be very quick and that I would be able to see her soon.”
“My last words to her were, ‘I’ll be back for you soon,’ ” she continued. “But Daisy was the one who never came back to me.”
Since this tragedy, Squier has spoken out warning other parents to be diligent in helping their children prevent cavities and in researching the dentists and anesthesiologists they are treated by.
“If I could have done something different for Daisy Lynn, and if I could give any parents advice, I would tell them to do more research on your dentist and your anesthesiologist and to get as many second opinions as you possibly can,” she told PEOPLE.
The use of general anesthesia carries “inherent risks,” Dr. Robert Delarosa, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says.
“It should be avoided if possible, unless a condition requires it and it is the safest route,” he explained. “The main reason it’s used is because small children are prone to squirming in their chairs. If a dentist is holding a sharp object, a moving child can bump their hand, causing further damage.”