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NC dentist’s license revoked after patient death

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An image from Dr. Toni Mascherin's Facebook page.

CARY, N.C. — A Cary dentist had her license revoked after authorities said she did not properly monitor a patient who died while she extracted a tooth.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that Dr. Toni Mascherin’s license was permanently terminated by the N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners in September.

An autopsy report determined that 57-year-old Catherine Thoits likely died of a drug overdose as she had her tooth pulled in November 2012.

The drugs were given to sedate her. The autopsy found that Thoits’ history of sleep apnea made the drugs more dangerous.

Mascherin is accused of ignoring an assistant’s warning that the patient was blue on the operating table and instead preferred to extract the woman’s tooth.

During the procedure, officials said Thoits’ blood-oxygen saturation dropped to dangerous levels and she became unconscious.

Authorities said no one administered CPR until paramedics arrived, even though Mascherin told investigators otherwise.

Mascherin was allowed to continue seeing patients and using the same sedation techniques for eight months while the Board of Dental Examiners investigated her.

Mascherin agreed to give up her license, 11 months after the death. She wrote her Cary patients a parting letter, saying she was retiring but left out the fact that she lost her license.

State authorities said it was the first time in 13 years where someone died from a dentist’s treatment.

Read more: The News & Observer of Raleigh

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