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Medical experts testify in manslaughter trial of dentist

HONOLULU — Medical experts testified in the trial of a former dentist on Oahu accused of manslaughter in the death of a 3-year-old patient.

Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner Christopher Happy told the court Monday that Finley Boyle likely died because of the sedatives given during the dental procedure conducted by 41-year-old Lilly Geyer in December 2013.

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The trial began last week for Geyer, who is accused of recklessly causing Finley’s death, among other charges, when the girl stopped breathing and entered cardiac arrest. Finley died a month after the visit to Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua. The child was taken to the dentist for root canal procedures.

The manner of death was classified as accidental while the immediate cause was from an infection from being on a ventilator, Happy said.

“In Finley’s case, because she was so sick, because she had experienced a time where she didn’t get any blood to her brain — that system broke down,” Happy told the state court.

Dr. Gildasio De Oliveira, an anesthesiology expert hired by prosecutors, told the court that Finley was given a cocktail of multiple drugs at the same time that boosted each of the drugs’ strengths.

“What I expect to see in a patient who receives all of those drugs would be decreased respiratory drive, which means they would start breathing slowly or they could stop breathing,” De Oliveira said.

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The combination of drugs was intended to be a moderate sedation, but it produced a deep sedation, which should have required constant monitoring, De Oliveira said.

Under questioning by a lawyer for Geyer, De Oliveira said he is board-certified for anesthesia but not for pediatric anesthesia.