Suspended Frisco Doctor Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Medical Negligence Leading to Patient’s Death

24 December 2023

Lawsuit reveals shocking details of a routine procedure gone wrong at Integrity Wellness Center

In a disturbing turn of events, a recently suspended Frisco doctor, Michael P. Gallagher, is facing a lawsuit over alleged medical negligence that resulted in the death of a patient. The lawsuit, which came to light during an ongoing investigation into Gallagher’s practices, sheds light on a tragic incident at Integrity Wellness Center in Coppell, Texas. The case highlights the importance of proper qualifications and supervision in the medical field, raising questions about patient safety and the accountability of healthcare professionals.

The Tragic Death of Kimberly Ray and Alleged Misrepresentation of Qualifications

Kimberly Ray, a mother from Arlington, Texas, tragically lost her life following a routine rhizotomy procedure at Integrity Wellness Center on April 19, 2023. The lawsuit reveals that the procedure was performed by certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) Joseph Scott Houghton, who allegedly misrepresented his qualifications to Ray. Houghton, who listed himself as a “surgeon,” a “physician,” and even as “Dr. Scott Houghton” on documents signed by Ray, administered a large sedative dose prior to the procedure.

Negligence and Chaos During the Procedure

According to the lawsuit, Ray was rendered unconscious and placed face down for the injections to her spine, a standard part of the rhizotomy procedure. However, it was during this time that Ray stopped breathing, and the medical staff failed to notice until the procedure was completed. The lawsuit describes a chaotic and disorganized scene, with the doctor yelling at the staff and crucial equipment for restoring Ray’s airway not being attached when emergency medical services (EMS) arrived.

Delayed Response and Tragic Consequences

Despite attempts to revive Ray and insert a breathing tube, the situation worsened. The Coppell Fire Department EMS reported that Dr. Venkateswara Rao Mandava, who was involved in the procedure, had trouble reinserting the breathing tube and snatched equipment away from EMS personnel. Shockingly, Mandava allegedly tried to delay Ray’s transfer to the hospital to complete paperwork, further jeopardizing her chances of survival. Ultimately, Ray suffered severe brain injury due to lack of oxygen and had to be taken to a second hospital for more complex treatment. Tragically, her family made the difficult decision to remove life support, and she passed away on April 23, 2021.

Autopsy Results and Allegations of Gross Negligence

Autopsy results revealed that Ray sustained spinal column injury at the site of the injection, and her cause of death was determined to be brain damage caused by the procedure. The lawsuit argues that the defendants’ actions and omissions were indicative of gross negligence. The lawsuit further alleges that Gallagher, despite being the Chief of Anesthesiology at Integrity Wellness Center, admitted during a deposition that he is not a board-certified anesthesiologist and had no involvement in Ray’s care or communication with EMS.

Conclusion:

The tragic death of Kimberly Ray at Integrity Wellness Center has brought to light serious allegations of medical negligence and misrepresentation of qualifications. This case underscores the importance of proper supervision and qualifications in the medical field, as well as the need for accountability when it comes to patient safety. The ongoing lawsuit serves as a reminder that patients and their families deserve transparency, competent care, and justice in the face of medical malpractice.

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