Friday, June 19, 2015

Wisdom tooth extraction with tragic consequences

With the school year out of the way, Eden Prairie High School junior Sydney Galleger went to the doctor to have her wisdom teeth removed.
The routine procedure turned tragic. Galleger went into cardiac arrest during the extraction last Tuesday, according to her mother.
By Friday, Diane Galleger wrote on her daughter’s CarringBridge site that Sydney “chose to be an organ donor when she got her driver’s license at age 16. … We are still in shock that this has happened, but knowing that a part of Sydney will live on and give someone else life, gives us some comfort.”
On Monday evening, Galleger’s family announced her death on the CaringBridge page. The diver on the high school swim team and Alpine skier was 17 years old...
Soon after Sydney was stricken, Diane Galleger wrote on CaringBridge that everything was going well with the procedure “until the very end, when her blood pressure shot up and her pulse dropped and then she went into cardiac arrest.”
“We still don’t know what caused this to happen, but it’s possibly pointing to an unknown heart condition,” Sydney’s mother said in the posting on the day her daughter was stricken.
By Friday, Diane Galleger wrote, the swelling in Sydney’s brain proved overwhelming.
“As we met with a team of Drs. and nurses at 3 a.m., they let us know there was nothing more that could be done,” Diane Galleger wrote. “As you can imagine, that was the most devastating news we have ever received. We want to rewind to [last] Monday, where we had our happy, healthy, funny, beautiful 17-year-old daughter.”


  1. How did Sydney Galleger die from routine wisdom teeth removal?

    Read more:

  2. [Originally posted February 22, 2016 at 11:07 PM]
    The Minnesota Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended a Twin Cities dentist following a common oral surgery that led to a patient’s death.

    Paul Tompach’s license was suspended on Jan. 29 following an investigation.

    The decision comes after 17-year-old Sydney Galleger went into cardiac arrest last summer while having her wisdom teeth removed and later died.

    In a three page document, the Minnesota Board of Dentistry outlines the reasoning behind temporarily suspending the license of Dr. Paul Tompach, a dentist whose practice is located in Edina.

    In addressing the death of Galleger, the order stated that Tompach, “failed to provide appropriate oral surgery care, failed to appropriately manage a medical emergency and enabled allied dental personnel to perform tasks which exceeded their legal scope of practice.”

    The board’s executive director Bridgett Anderson wouldn’t go into specifics but said an uncertified dental assistant had some involvement when Galleger received anesthesia.

    The state has guidelines for duties allowed by licensed dental assistants. Without licensing certification, a dental assistant can’t place or remove IV lines, monitor a sedated patient or administer medication in procedures dealing with anesthesia.

  3. A Minnesota family has settled a lawsuit over the 2015 death of their 17-year-old daughter who went into cardiac arrest while having her wisdom teeth removed. The family of Sydney Galleger, who was under the care of Dr. Paul Tompach at the time of the procedure, reached a $2 million settlement with the oral surgeon, The Star Tribune reported.

    The procedure took place at Tompach’s Edina Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery office on June 9 at 9 a.m., with the teen’s heart rate dropping dramatically between 9:15 and 9:20 a.m. A call was placed to 911 and CPR was administered before paramedics arrived, according to the news outlet.

    A medical examiner later ruled that Galleger died from oxygen being denied to the brain due to cardiac arrest. Initially, the family had told The Star Tribune that they were not planning on filing a lawsuit, but that changed in January 2017.

    Tompach, 54, saw his license to practice suspended in January 2016 following the teen’s death, but was practicing again under the restrictions placed by the state’s Board of Dentistry just six weeks later, The Star Tribune reported. The restrictions were lifted in June 2017.

    The lawsuit alleged “negligent and dangerous” actions pertaining to administering anesthesia, and a failure to properly monitor the teen during the extraction.

    “The decision to place [Galleger] under anesthesia without using [the proper] monitoring equipment is negligent and dangerous,” the lawsuit stated. “The evidence in this case will clearly and convincingly demonstrate that [Tombach] had deliberate disregard for the safety of his patients.”