Anesthesiologist Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., MD, has pleaded not guilty to allegations he injected heart-stopping drugs into IV bags at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas, Fox 4 KDFW reported Oct. 15.
According to prosecutors, he allegedly injected IV bags with bupivacaine, epinephrine and lidocaine, which caused almost a dozen patients to experience unexpected cardiac emergencies.
The investigation began after the death of fellow anesthesiologist Melanie Kaspar, MD, who worked at the ASC and died June 21. She was originally thought to have had a heart attack, but the Dallas County Medical Examiner ruled her death to be from the effects of bupivacaine. According to the board, she took an IV bag home with her when she was ill to rehydrate, inserted the IV into her vein and had a serious cardiac event and died.
Dr. Ortiz was arrested and denied bail Sept. 14. He faces federal charges of tampering with a consumer product causing death and intentional drug adulteration.