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San Diego man dies after wisdom teeth surgery, family says

April 02, 2013|By Kate Mather

A San Diego area man died after what was supposed to be a routine procedure to remove two wisdom teeth, his family said.

Marek Lapinski, 25, began coughing during the March 21 surgery in Temecula, according to medical records his family provided Fox 5 San Diego. Medical personnel administered propofol, his family told the television station, and Lapinski went into cardiac arrest.

He was taken to an area hospital, where he died March 24, according to a website set up in his honor. An autopsy is pending.

Lapinski was a founding partner and vice president of Tactical 3rd Dimension, which develops night-vision technology, according to the website. 

Family members told Fox 5 that they had several concerns about what might have caused his death, and said he had no health issues they were aware of.

An ambulance report indicated that a piece of gauze was found in his airway.

"I was told by the hospital they weren't sure if this was all caused from him choking on a piece of gauze," his mother, April Lapinski, told Fox 5. "Somebody was not paying attention at some point."

Natalie Lapinski, a nurse, said she was concerned that her brother was given too much anesthesia and about whether he was properly monitored. She said her brother was given at least six different sedatives, and that medical records indicated his oxygen saturation levels dropped about 25 minutes into the surgery.

Fox 5 went to the Temecula office of the oral surgeon Monday but could not reach him for comment. 

"This has just been our nightmare," April Lapinski said. "My family is having a really hard time with this."

Natalie Lapinski said her brother was nervous about the procedure.

"That morning he texted me and said, 'I'm going in. I'll call you when I'm out,'" she said. "I never heard from him again."

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twitter.com/@katemather | Google+
kate.mather@latimes.com

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