Anesthesiologist Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., MD, was denied bail Sept. 19 on federal charges and allegations that he tampered with IV bags at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Dr. Ortiz, who was arrested Sept. 14, allegedly injected the IV bag with heart-stopping drugs such as bupivacaine, epinephrine and lidocaine that caused almost a dozen patients to experience unexpected cardiac emergencies. At least four IV bags were found to contain those drugs. He faces federal charges of tampering with a consumer product causing death and intentional drug adulteration.
Magistrate Judge David Horan, who denied Dr. Ortiz bail, said there is no condition that could "reasonably ensure the safety" of the community if he was released on bail.
Dr. Ortiz is a part of an ongoing investigation that links him to the compromised IV bags — including security footage of him depositing IV bags into a warmer in the hall outside operating rooms.
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 faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.