May 18, 2024

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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 drugs into client IV luggage at a nearby medical procedures heart – ensuing in at least a single dying and a number of cardiac emergencies – was arrested Wednesday on federal prison costs, Principal Deputy Assistant Legal professional Standard Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, and U.S. Lawyer for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham introduced these days. 

Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., 59, was billed by means of legal criticism with tampering with a shopper product leading to loss of life and intentional drug adulteration. He was arrested in Plano on Wednesday and will make his original look just before U.S. Justice of the peace Decide Renee Toliver  in Dallas on Friday at 10 a.m.

According the prison criticism, on June 21, a 55-yr-aged female coworker of Dr. Ortiz, recognized in court docket documents as M.K., professional a professional medical emergency and died right away soon after treating herself for dehydration applying an IV bag of saline taken from the surgical middle. An autopsy report discovered that she died from a lethal dose of bupivacaine, a nerve blocking agent that is not often abused but is normally applied for the duration of the administration of anesthesia.

Two months later on, on Aug. 24, an 18-year-old male individual, identified in court docket paperwork as J.A., expert a cardiac crisis in the course of a regime sinus surgical procedures. The teenager was intubated and transferred to a local ICU. Chemical investigation of the fluid from a saline bag applied in the course of his surgical treatment unveiled the existence of bupivacaine, epinephrine (a stimulant), and lidocaine, medication that could have triggered the patient’s sudden symptoms.

According to the grievance, surgical heart staff concluded that the incidents involving M.K. and J.A. proposed a pattern of intentional adulteration of IV bags utilised at the surgical centre. They recognized 10 added unpredicted cardiac emergencies that occurred for the duration of if not unremarkable surgical procedures in between May and August 2022, which the criticism alleges is an exceptionally superior charge of troubles in excess of such a shorter interval of time.

In every single of individuals cases – which investigators think transpired on or all around May perhaps 26 and 27 June 27 July 7, 15 and 18 and Aug. 1, 4, 9 and 19 – clinical staff have been able to stabilize the client only via use of unexpected emergency actions. Most of the incidents transpired throughout for a longer time surgical procedures that employed far more than 1 IV bag, such as just one or extra baggage retrieved mid-surgical treatment from a stainless steel bag warmer.

The grievance alleges that none of the cardiac incidents happened through Dr. Ortiz’s surgeries, and that they started just two days just after Dr. Oritz was notified of a disciplinary inquiry stemming from an incident all through which he allegedly “deviated from the standard of care” in the course of an anesthesia process when a affected person knowledgeable a health care unexpected emergency. The complaint alleges that all of the incidents happened about the time Dr. Ortiz executed expert services at the facility, and no incidents happened though Dr. Ortiz was on family vacation.

The complaint even more alleges that Dr. Ortiz, who had a historical past of disciplinary actions in opposition to him, expressed problem to other medical professionals above the disciplinary motion at the facility and complained the centre was making an attempt to “crucify” him. A nurse who worked on a single of Dr. Ortiz’s surgical procedures allegedly told law 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 area hallway allegedly showed Dr. Ortiz placing IV bags into the stainless-steel bag hotter shortly right before other doctors’ clients experienced cardiac emergencies. 

The grievance alleges that in a person instance captured in the surveillance online video, agents noticed Dr. Ortiz stroll promptly from an functioning place to the bag hotter, position a one IV bag inside of, visually scan the vacant hallway, and swiftly walk absent. Just around an hour afterwards, according to the complaint, a 56-year-old female experienced a cardiac unexpected emergency during a scheduled cosmetic surgical procedure after a bag from the hotter was used throughout her method.

The grievance alleges that in another occasion, brokers noticed Dr. Ortiz exit his working room carrying an IV bag hid in what appeared to be a paper folder, swap the bag with a further bag from the hotter, and wander away. Approximately fifty percent an hour afterwards, a 54-12 months-old girl endured a cardiac crisis in the course of a scheduled cosmetic operation right after a bag from the hotter was used through her treatment. 

“The security of the nation’s pharmaceutical provide is critically significant,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Lawyer Standard Brian M. Boynton. “The Office will vigorously prosecute this situation regular with the proof gathered by our legislation enforcement companions.”

“Our grievance alleges this defendant surreptitiously injected heart-halting prescription drugs into individual IV baggage, decimating the Hippocratic oath,” claimed U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham. “A solitary incident of seemingly intentional individual damage would be disconcerting a number of incidents are really disturbing. At this place, on the other hand, we believe that that the trouble is confined to 1 unique, who is presently powering bars. The Office of Justice and our indefatigable associates at the FDA’s Place of work of Prison Investigations and the Dallas Police Division will do the job tirelessly to keep him accountable. In the meantime, it is secure to bear anesthesia in Dallas.”

“Patients expect that their health professionals will use only risk-free and effective clinical products throughout their surgeries. When illicit tampering happens, critical harm and even demise can outcome,” said Specific Agent in Cost Charles L. Grinstead, Fda Office environment of Legal Investigations. “Working with our regulation enforcement partners, we will continue to keep track of, investigate and bring to justice individuals who would hazard patients’ overall health and protection.”

A prison criticism is basically an allegation of prison conduct, not proof. Dr. Ortiz is presumed harmless unless of course and until confirmed guilty outside of a sensible doubt in a court docket of law.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of lifetime in jail. A federal district court choose will decide any sentence soon after contemplating the U.S. Sentencing Tips and other statutory factors.

The U.S. Food stuff & Drug Administration’s Business of Criminal Investigations and the Dallas Law enforcement Division conducted the investigation with the guidance of experts from the University of North Texas. Senior Litigation Counsel Patrick Runkle and Senior Trial Counsel Yolanda McCray Jones of the Justice Department’s Client Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John de la Garza and Errin Martin of the Northern District of Texas are prosecuting the circumstance.