Friday, October 21, 2011

Tooth Infection Kills Unemployed Man!

An unemployed man died last week because he couldn't afford treatment for his infected third molar, according to news reports.
Citing physicians and family remembers, Cincinnati's WLWT television station said the infection killed 24-year-old Kyle Willis when it spread from his tooth to his brain.
Dentists advised Willis, the nephew of funk bass player Bootsy Collins, to have the tooth extracted 2 weeks earlier, but Willis had no insurance and decided to wait, according to the report.


"He should have gone to the dentist to take care of the toothache, and it wouldn't have escalated to this. It's a lesson learned by all," said Willis' aunt, Patti Collins.
Suffering from headaches and swelling, Willis later visited an emergency department, where he got prescriptions for antibiotics and analgesics.


He could only afford 1 of the prescriptions and chose the pain medicine. Willis felt better, but swelling in his brain killed him.
Willis' fate recalls the widely publicized 2007 death of 12-year-old Maryland boy Deamonte Driver, whose tooth infection also spread to his brain. Driver's mother had trouble finding a dentist who would treat him for what she could pay. Physicians estimated that they had spent $250,000 trying to save him from an infection that could have been prevented by a simple extraction.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded dental care subsidies for children of indigent families but has no provisions to pay for adult dental care. Many states have never offered adult dental benefits for Medicaid patients, and others have eliminated these benefits in recent years as revenues have shrunk in the recession.
Although Ohio does offer such benefits, Willis' family had recently lost its benefits, according to ABC News.
In April, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 33% of people surveyed skipped dental care or dental checkups because they could not afford them.
Dentists who operate free clinics for the underserved say they are often overwhelmed by the demand.
Willis leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter. Family members are organizing funds for Willis' funeral expenses and for his daughter's college education. Donations may be made to: Kyle Willis Memorial Fund, 604 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245-2141.

Source: Medscape

1 comment:

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