A Los Angeles coroner's report finds the death of a 24-year-old North Allegheny High School graduate following dental surgery in California was an accident, The Press-Enterprise is reporting.
Marek Lapinski, who lived in Murrieta, "suffered fatal brain injury March 21 after going into cardiac arrest at the office of Dr. Steven F. Paul," The Press-Enterprise reported following review of records from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
The coroner's report finds Lapinski underwent "repeated dosing of anesthesia during oral surgery,"according to The Press-Enterprise.
Paramedics were called to the doctor’s office on Margarita Road the morning of March 21 following complications with Lapinski.
Lapinski was transported to Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, but was later transported to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office.
Lapinski was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m. at UCLA the facility, according to the coroner records.
Lapinski’s mother April told KTLA News that first-responder reports indicate her son began to cough during the March 21 dental surgery and was administered Propofol.
The drug is used during anesthesia, according to drug labeling. Following the Propofol administration, Marek went into cardiac arrest and may have had a piece of surgical gauze blocking his airway, April told KTLA.
The coroner's office did not make any findings on the gauze, but stated, “It is unclear if Mr. Lapinski was choking on gauze or a large blood clot,” The Press-Enterprise reported.
Paul’s attorney Clark Hudson responded with a statement to Patch in May.
"Dr. Steven Paul has always provided the highest level of oral surgery care to his patients. He maintains an oral surgical suite that provides state of the art services and monitoring for his patients. However, as safe as oral surgery is in today’s environment, no surgical procedure is without risk,” Hudson said.
Remembering Marek Lapinski
Lapinski was a running back and 2007 graduate of North Allegheny.
"Marek was an outstanding young man," said North Allegheny Athletic Director Bob Bozzuto. "He was a two year captain that played fullback and linebacker for us. A truly sad story."
Lapinski attended Duquesne, where he was a four-year starter on the football team. He holds a bachelor's degree from Duquesne in business administration with a double major in finance and investment management, according to his company's website.
Lapinski helped start the company Total 3rd Dimension, or T-3D, an advanced technology used for military vehicles.
According to ABCNews.com, April Lapinski told ABCNews.com that the family was waiting for the coroner's report before deciding if it would pursue legal action.
"Now we wake up every morning and can't believe it," she said. "it's just one big bad dream."
Lapinski's friends and family have started a web site in his memory, including ways to donate to cause Lapinski supported . Click here to visit it.