Anesthesiologist Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., MD, was arrested Sept. 14 on a federal warrant amid an ongoing investigation into whether he tampered with IV bags at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas.
The Texas Medical Board suspended Dr. Ortiz's license last week, saying evidence links Dr. Ortiz to the compromised IV bags — including security footage of him depositing IV bags into a warmer in the hall outside operating rooms.
Lab tests on the IV bags found "visible tiny holes in the plastic wrap around the bags" and that they contained bupivacaine without being labeled as such.
Federal investigators are also investigating the death of 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.
Additionally, a local attorney told ABC affiliate WFAA he represents seven patients claiming to have experienced severe complications between May and August while undergoing surgical procedures at the ASC.
Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas temporarily closed amid the investigation and will remain closed as the investigation continues. Dr. Ortiz is being held at the Dallas County Jail, and a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16.