Washington State Department of Health

The dental commission of the Washington State Department of Health has charged a Battle Ground dentist with unprofessional conduct due to reporting failures following the death of a patient, the department announced last week.

On Oct. 7, the health department announced that Ellis Burke Jardine, owner and operator of Excel Dental in Battle Ground, faced the charges. The announcement stated Jardine did not adequately report the cardiac arrest and hospital trip of a 51-year-old male patient who eventually died in January 2018. 

According to a statement of charges, the patient was “born developmentally delayed” and was wheelchair-bound, adding that he suffered from a variety of health problems “including epilepsy, diabetes, legal blindness, deafness, high blood pressure … anemia, and left-sided weakness” a result of a 2017 stroke. 

Early in January, the patient’s caregiver contacted the dentist’s office, with Jardine’s staff informing him that the patient was “medically compromised” and would need to be sedated for a dental exam, according to the statement of charges. A scheduled appointment had to be canceled as the patient’s blood sugar was too low to go without eating, the statement read. The patient was later seen in the emergency department of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for dental pain, but was not treated for it.

The next day, the patient was seen for an evaluation, the state of charges read, and an anesthesiologist, Geoffrey Bean, agreed to administer general anesthetic to the patient. About 10 minutes after going under, the patient’s blood pressure decreased, and the patient subsequently into cardiac arrest and transported to PeaceHealth. The patient died Jan. 5.

Records of the patient’s adverse reaction to anesthesia, his cardiac arrest and hospitalization were not made until a month later, according to the statement of charges. 

Per state law, a dentist must report those kinds of complications within 72 hours of the dentist becoming aware of them.

Jardine has 20 days from the issues of the statement of charges, marked as filed Aug. 30, to respond, after which the case goes to a settlement or hearing, according to information from the Department of Health. 

Should he fail to defend himself against the charges, Jardine would be subject to disciplinary action covered under state law.

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