Texas Medspa IV Therapy Death: Dangers of Improper Supervision & Safety Protocols

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Jennifer Cleveland, a Texas-based woman, died on July 10, 2023, after receiving an IV therapy treatment at Luxe Med Spa in Wortham, Texas, according to the Wortham Police Department.
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The Texas Medical Board has temporarily suspended the medical license of Luxe Med Spa's medical director, Michael Gallagher, M.D., following the death of a patient after an IV therapy treatment at the Luxe Med Spa in July, according to reporting from KNES 6 News in Temple, Texas. The board declared Dr. Gallagher as a "continuing threat to public welfare due to the doctor's improper supervision of IV treatments, which resulted in a patient's death." The temporary suspension is pending a formal hearing.

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Jennifer Cleveland, a Texas-based woman, died on July 10, 2023, after receiving an IV therapy treatment at Luxe Med Spa in Wortham, Texas, from the spa's owner Amber Johnson, according to the Wortham Police Department. Wortham Police Chief Kelly Butler said Cleveland was given CPR on the scene, but died while being transported to Parkview Hospital in Mexia, Texas.

According to the Texas Medical Board's findings, Luxe Med Spa's medical director, Michael Gallagher, M.D., was on-site at the med spa for only three occasions: the grand opening on May 6, a month later on June 10 and then on July 10, the day of the incident. The board also noted that Gallagher failed to implement policies and procedures, including having no protocols or standard operating procedures (SOPs) for IV services and only having an unsigned medical director agreement that documents the relationship with Luxe.

Johnson, the owner of the spa who also personally performed the IV treatment, does not hold any medical or health care license, and no other licensed health professionals were present on site, according to the report. The patient received an IV infusion containing vitamin B complex, ascorbic acid, B12 and TPN electrolytes. TPN electrolytes, which require a prescription to administer or purchase, were reportedly purchased for the medical spa through an account using Gallagher’s credentials.

Per reporting from AmSpa, the patient was found unresponsive shortly after the IV was started. Luxe’s staff initiated CPR and called emergency services. The EMS transported the patient to a local hospital, arriving at 12:17 p.m., with the patient being pronounced dead at 12:24 p.m. The diagnosis was given as unspecified cardiac arrest. The board claims that TPN electrolytes can cause complications due to the presence of potassium chloride, and reporting cited by AmSpa indicated that the patient may have suffered from mild cardiomegaly. The family has requested an autopsy and official results are pending.

The board concluded that Gallagher’s ordering of prescription medication to be administered by an unlicensed and unqualified delegate without adequate supervision, oversight or protocols presents a continuing threat to public safety. For these reasons, the board temporarily suspended Gallagher’s medical license without a notice of hearing. The temporary suspension remains in effect until an order is entered by the disciplinary panel after a formal hearing is held with the licensee, per AmSpa.

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