kdka-sm kdka-am-sm fan-sm pittsburgh-cw-logo

Latest News

Family Looks For Answers After Local Man Dies During Dental Procedure In Calif.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
Read More

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was hard enough for the family of Marek Lapinski last week when they learned the 24-year-old died unexpectedly while having his wisdom teeth removed in California.

They had few answers, but now that they’ve seen his medical records, it’s just as difficult because now they have new questions.

“A healthy non-smoking 24-year-old young adult does not die in a dental chair,” said family friend Tony Keiser. “That isn’t supposed to happen.”

He says the family has paid close attention to the narrative that chronicle the last last hours of Lapinski’s life.

He was featured in a KDKA-TV story a few months ago when he was in Pittsburgh demonstrating his California firm’s high-tech ideas. He was also a former North Allegheny High School and Duquesne University football player.

The records show that while undergoing oral surgery in a Riverside County, Calif. doctor’s office, Lapinski began to wake up and cough and was given propofol.

Eventually it was discovered the patient had surgical gauze in his airway as paramedics tried to revive him.

There are too many complications and too many questions left unanswered so far. The family wants the Riverside County prosecutor as well as medical investigators to look into the procedures used.

“This has to be answered so that it doesn’t happen again,” said Keiser. “It’s beyond questionable and particularly now as some of the medical information becomes available, it needs to be looked into and only with public attention and ultimately public outcry and indignation can this be properly addressed, so nothing like it ever happens again.”

The family hopes to get more answers from the Los Angeles County coroner and hope they can bring the body back home for a funeral later this week.

RELATED LINKS
More Local News