Death of boy at VCU dental clinic was due to natural causes

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – According to the state medical examiner, the death of a 6-year-old boy at the VCU Dental Clinic was caused by an irregular heart beat due to breathing tube removal.

Jacobi Hill died May 11 after he underwent anesthesia for dental treatment at VCU's Pediatric Dental Clinic in Richmond.

Following weeks of unanswered questions, the medical examiner determined the boy died of natural causes, officially listed as "cardiac dysrhythmia due to endotracheal extubation."

Hill had asthma, but no other known health problems when he was taken to VCU's Dental Clinic for a procedure May 11.

He was sedated, but soon afterward ended up in the emergency room.

"He was just going to get caps put on his teeth and while he was there he went into cardiac arrest," said his grandmother Carolyn Suggs in a May interview. "They worked on him and worked on him to try to revive him but they lost him."

Jacobi's family was heartbroken, and angry. Their questions prompted an internal investigation, and gained the attention of regulatory agencies.

When manners of death are ruled "accidental" or "homicide," it implies someone or something is responsible. But in this case, the kindergartner's "natural" death may signal the end of any investigations.

Jacobi's family insisted the child was healthy, and called his death unimaginable.

"When you go get your teeth fixed you don't expect to end up not living," said John Suggs, his grandfather, in a May interview.

Jacobi's grandparents did not return phone calls placed today, nor did VCU respond to a request for comment.

Soon, both sides will receive a full autopsy report, which may shed more light on what led up to the boy's death.

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