Texas Anesthesiologist Arrested on Criminal Charges Related to Alleged Tampering with IV Bags Implicated in Death, Surgical Emergencies | USAO-NDTX

Texas Anesthesiologist Arrested on Criminal Charges Related to Alleged Tampering with IV Bags Implicated in Death, Surgical Emergencies | USAO-NDTX

A Dallas anesthesiologist who allegedly injected nerve blocking brokers and other medicine into patient IV bags at a local surgical procedures center – resulting in at minimum 1 loss of life and various cardiac emergencies – was arrested Wednesday on federal legal costs, Principal Deputy Assistant Legal professional Common Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, and U.S. Legal professional for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham introduced nowadays. 

Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., 59, was charged by way of prison criticism with tampering with a customer solution leading to loss of life and intentional drug adulteration. He was arrested in Plano on Wednesday and will make his preliminary physical appearance in advance of U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver  in Dallas on Friday at 10 a.m.

In accordance the legal complaint, on June 21, a 55-yr-old feminine coworker of Dr. Ortiz, recognized in court paperwork as M.K., experienced a medical crisis and died straight away soon after dealing with herself for dehydration employing an IV bag of saline taken from the surgical center. An autopsy report disclosed that she died from a lethal dose of bupivacaine, a nerve blocking agent that is hardly ever abused but is generally made use of in the course of the administration of anesthesia.

Two months afterwards, on Aug. 24, an 18-calendar year-aged male affected person, identified in courtroom paperwork as J.A., professional a cardiac crisis through a routine sinus surgical procedure. The teenager was intubated and transferred to a community ICU. Chemical examination of the fluid from a saline bag employed during his surgical procedures discovered the existence of bupivacaine, epinephrine (a stimulant), and lidocaine, medicines that could have prompted the patient’s unexpected indicators.

According to the complaint, surgical middle personnel concluded that the incidents involving M.K. and J.A. suggested a pattern of intentional adulteration of IV baggage applied at the surgical center. They discovered 10 added unforeseen cardiac emergencies that happened throughout usually unremarkable surgeries among Could and August 2022, which the criticism alleges is an extremely significant level of problems around these a limited period of time of time.

In every single of those people situations – which investigators feel transpired on or close to Could 26 and 27 June 27 July 7, 15 and 18 and Aug. 1, 4, 9 and 19 – clinical staff were in a position to stabilize the individual only through use of unexpected emergency steps. Most of the incidents transpired during for a longer time surgical procedures that used extra than one particular IV bag, together with a single or additional luggage retrieved mid-surgical treatment from a stainless steel bag warmer.

The complaint alleges that none of the cardiac incidents transpired in the course of Dr. Ortiz’s surgeries, and that they started just two times following Dr. Oritz was notified of a disciplinary inquiry stemming from an incident all through which he allegedly “deviated from the normal of care” during an anesthesia procedure when a affected person skilled a medical crisis. The criticism alleges that all of the incidents occurred about the time Dr. Ortiz carried out providers at the facility, and no incidents occurred whilst Dr. Ortiz was on family vacation.

The complaint additional alleges that Dr. Ortiz, who had a record of disciplinary actions in opposition to him, expressed worry to other physicians in excess of the disciplinary action at the facility and complained the centre was seeking to “crucify” him. A nurse who labored on just one of Dr. Ortiz’s surgeries allegedly advised legislation enforcement that Dr. Ortiz refused to use an IV bag she retrieved from the warmer, bodily waving the bag off.

Surveillance online video from the center’s working place hallway allegedly confirmed Dr. Ortiz placing IV baggage into the stainless-steel bag warmer shortly in advance of other doctors’ sufferers experienced cardiac emergencies. 

The complaint alleges that in just one instance captured in the surveillance video, agents noticed Dr. Ortiz walk immediately from an functioning place to the bag warmer, position a one IV bag inside of, visually scan the vacant hallway, and swiftly walk absent. Just around an hour later, in accordance to the grievance, a 56-year-old woman experienced a cardiac emergency throughout a scheduled beauty medical procedures just after a bag from the warmer was applied during her method.

The grievance alleges that in yet another instance, brokers observed Dr. Ortiz exit his running home carrying an IV bag hid in what appeared to be a paper folder, swap the bag with a further bag from the warmer, and stroll away. About half an hour later on, a 54-12 months-previous lady endured a cardiac crisis for the duration of a scheduled beauty surgery immediately after a bag from the warmer was used through her process. 

“The security of the nation’s pharmaceutical offer is critically crucial,” explained Principal Deputy Assistant Lawyer General Brian M. Boynton. “The Division will vigorously prosecute this situation constant with the evidence collected by our law enforcement associates.”

“Our criticism alleges this defendant surreptitiously injected heart-stopping drugs into individual IV baggage, decimating the Hippocratic oath,” claimed U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham. “A one incident of seemingly intentional patient hurt would be disconcerting various incidents are definitely disturbing. At this issue, nonetheless, we consider that the problem is confined to just one unique, who is at present at the rear of bars. The Department of Justice and our indefatigable associates at the FDA’s Business of Criminal Investigations and the Dallas Police Office will operate tirelessly to maintain him accountable. In the meantime, it is secure to undertake anesthesia in Dallas.”

“Patients anticipate that their doctors will use only risk-free and effective medical products through their surgeries. When illicit tampering takes place, really serious hurt and even dying can end result,” said Specific Agent in Demand Charles L. Grinstead, Food and drug administration Office environment of Prison Investigations. “Working with our law enforcement companions, we will continue on to keep an eye on, look into and convey to justice those who would hazard patients’ health and safety.”

A criminal criticism is just an allegation of prison carry out, not evidence. Dr. Ortiz is presumed harmless except and right until proven responsible over and above a realistic question in a court of regulation.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of daily life in jail. A federal district courtroom decide will figure out any sentence just after considering the U.S. Sentencing Recommendations and other statutory elements.

The U.S. Foodstuff & Drug Administration’s Office environment of Criminal Investigations and the Dallas Law enforcement Division done the investigation with the help of scientists from the University of North Texas. Senior Litigation Counsel Patrick Runkle and Senior Demo Counsel Yolanda McCray Jones of the Justice Department’s Client Security Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John de la Garza and Errin Martin of the Northern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.