Health

Oral Surgeon Suspended Upon Teen's Death Post-Operation

| by Sheena Vasani
Sydney, who died in oral surgerySydney, who died in oral surgery

The Minnesota Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended an oral surgeon’s license Jan. 29 after a wisdom teeth removal operation killed a teenage girl.

Sydney Galleger, 17, died in June 2015 after Dr. Paul Tompach removed her wisdom teeth, reports Fox News.

“The Board has received credible information that Paul Tompach, D.D.S. has failed to provide appropriate oral surgery care...failed to appropriately manage a medical emergency, and enabled allied dental personnel (i.e., an unlicensed dental assistant, licensed dental assistant, and student intern) to perform tasks which exceeded their legal scope of practice,” the order suspending the surgeon reads.

The suspension will last until the Board determines what further action to take.

While the girl reportedly suffered cardiac arrest during the surgery, the autopsy results revealing cause of death still remain inconclusive.

“Today, I am numb, in a fog, sad, and not really sure what to think. After three months of the medical examiners trying to determine why Sydney had a cardiac arrest, there is no clear-cut answer,” wrote Diane Galleger in September, reports The Star Tribune.

“It appears to be ‘the perfect storm.’ She had a slight abnormality in her heart and signs of a viral infection on her brain. None on their own was felt to be enough to cause a cardiac arrest,” the mother added. “Could she have had a slight reaction to the medications causing everything to misfire? Unlikely, but we will never know. We just wanted God to give us something, give us an answer why our healthy, happy daughter is no longer with us.”

The grieving mother wrote a touching letter to her deceased daughter on a Caring Bridge page.

“My heart aches every time I think about you with your friends, your senior year, graduation, college, relationships,” she writes in the letter. “ I know it's not what YOU'RE missing, it's what WE'RE missing. In our grief group, they said when you lose a child, you lose the future. I have to remind myself you are in such a wonderful place where there are no tears, there is no pain and everything is perfect and beautiful.”

Yet she added earlier in September, “I really dislike the cliché even more now, ‘God needed another angel.’ It’s hard when that angel is yours. Thank you for all your continued prayers.”

It is unclear if the family will seek legal action against the oral surgeon.

Sources: Fox News, The Star TribuneCaring Bridge / Photo Credit: The Star Tribune

Should the board permanently revoke the oral surgeon's license?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%