The boy?s grandmother, Pamela McElroy, said she watched as he was taken into an operating room. She never saw him alive again.
The cause of death remains a mystery, and an official at Oakland Children?s Hospital ? where the dental surgery was performed Friday ? said an investigation is underway.
?I just want to know what went wrong,? McElroy said.
Her grandson, Jermaine Harrison, had a pacemaker.
McElroy suspects doctors administered gas as an anesthetic, and said it happened after he was given a different anesthetic by mouth. She said her grandson?s heart condition prevented him from being able to tolerate gas.
Dr. James Hanson, a vice president at the hospital, said Jermaine did not receive too much anesthetic, basing that conclusion on what he described as Jermaine?s strong vital signs, blood gases and carbon dioxide levels.
However, Hanson said he does not know what type of anesthetic the boy received.
McElroy said her grandson?s teeth were decaying, and because of his heart condition, the dental work could not be done in a dentist?s office.
Hanson said Friday?s surgery was critical for Jermaine because of his heart condition. Tooth decay could have led to bacteria traveling through his bloodstream and to his heart, the doctor said.
Jermaine?s family doubts his heart condition played a role in his death, although Hanson said it?s a possibility.
Hospital officials are waiting for an autopsy report from the Alameda County Coroner?s Office, and are doing an internal investigation to determine what led to Jermaine?s death, Hanson added.