Federal brokers arrested a Texas anesthesiologist accused of tampering with IV baggage that led to a colleague’s dying and sparked a sequence of terrifying working room emergencies, officers mentioned Thursday.
Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr. was arrested in Plano on Wednesday and charged with tampering with a shopper product and deliberately adulterating medication, offenses that would result in life behind bars, federal prosecutors mentioned.
Ortiz had been suspended within the wake of an ongoing felony investigation associated to the June 21 dying of Dr. Melanie Kasper, 55, in response to the order of non permanent suspension the Texas Medical Board issued Friday.
She died after utilizing an IV bag she had from the clinic the place she and Ortiz labored. Kasper had taken the bag “dwelling along with her when she was unwell, to rehydrate,” the suspension order mentioned.
An post-mortem revealed she was the sufferer of “a deadly dose of bupivacaine,” federal authorities mentioned.
On or about Aug. 24, an 18-year-old male affected person “skilled a cardiac emergency throughout a scheduled surgical procedure” as the teenager needed to be “intubated and transferred to an area ICU,” federal authorities mentioned in a press release.
A saline IV bag utilized in that teen affected person’s process confirmed the presence of the stimulant epinephrine, bupivacaine and lidocaine.
There have been 10 different “extra surprising cardiac emergencies” on the heart between Might and August of this yr and not one of the incidents occurred throughout any of Ortiz’s surgical procedures, officers mentioned.
In a kind of issues, surveillance video allegedly confirmed Ortiz “strolling shortly from an working room to the bag hotter, inserting a single IV bag inside, visually scanning the empty hallway, and shortly strolling away,” authorities mentioned.
Then an hour later, a “56-year-old lady suffered a cardiac emergency throughout a scheduled beauty surgical procedure after a bag from the hotter was used throughout her process,” federal officers mentioned.
Whereas authorities did not explicitly record a motive for the alleged crimes, a complain mentioned “Dr. Ortiz had a historical past of disciplinary actions towards him, expressed concern to different physicians over disciplinary motion on the facility, and complained the middle was attempting to ‘crucify’ him,” in response to a Division of Justice assertion.
It wasn’t instantly clear Thursday afternoon if Ortiz had employed a protection lawyer or been assigned counsel to talk on his behalf.