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2000 Urban Legends

The following stories are apocryphal. They are included on the Darwin Awards website because they are inspirational narratives of the astounding efforts of legendary Darwin Awards contenders.

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Dental Calamity 
2000 Urban Legend

(September 2000) 'My dentist's office called to cancel my appointment because the doctor was hospitalized for an illness. I assumed he had something like the flu, but the true story was more curious. My contact inside the local hospital provided a more accurate description of his illness.

Apparently the dentist did not trust anyone else to work on his teeth, so he provided his own dental care. That was his first mistake. He was observed entering the bathroom in his dental office with a syringe of epinephrine**. When it is injected into the area around an afflicted tooth, it constricts the blood vessels and reduces the bleeding. The epinephrine was his second mistake. To prepare for the injection, he placed a piece of gauze adjacent to the tooth, which was his third mistake.

My informant's theory is that when he injected the epinephrine into his gums, a significant amount entered his bloodstream and constricted the blood vessels in his head, making him loose consciousness. He then fell to the floor and aspirated (inhaled) the gauze into his trachea. By the time his staff realized something was amiss, the dentist had been down and out for 15 minutes.

He died the next day.

**Why would a dentist work on his own teeth in the bathroom? Why not in his office surrounded by proper tools and mirrors? © 1994 - 2020
Submitted by: Darwin Spotter
Reference: Fresno Bee

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Owenetta says, "1: The dentist went into the bathroom so he could use the mirror when he injected the local anesthetic. 2: He injected himself with lidocaine with epinephrine, not epinephrine alone. 3: He passed out as a result of what is called a "vaso-depressor reaction" (or less likely, an allergic or toxic reaction.) 4: The resulting low blood pressure produced a secondary grand-mal seizure and subsequent aspiration of the gauze; hence, death. All of this begs the question of why a dentist would want to self-treat his own mouth. But as a physician who has done minor surgery on myself, I can appreciate this story more than most. "

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