Crime and Safety

North Texas health officials arrested just days after being suspended from the job, accused of IV bag tampering investigation

DALLAS, Texas – On Wednesday, Dallas Police detained a North Texas physician on suspicion of tampering with intravenous (IV) bags. This comes less than a week after the doctor had his license suspended.

Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz Jr., an anesthesiologist, had his license to practice medicine revoked on Friday by the Texas Medical Board, which stated that he posed a “continuous threat to public welfare” through his medical work.

According to the Board, Dr. Ortiz was a subject of an ongoing criminal investigation after major cardiac issues and the death of a physician were linked to Ortiz’s attendance at the Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas clinic from May through September 2022.

Shortly after Ortiz was taken into custody, Baylor Scott and White issued the following statement to FOX 4:

Surgicare North Dallas promptly halted all operations on August 24, upon discovering that an IV bag had the potential to be contaminated, and they alerted the proper municipal and federal authorities. There is nothing more important than ensuring the health and safety of the people we are responsible for serving. We have been providing active assistance to the authorities throughout their inquiry, and we will continue to do so; nonetheless, our primary focus is still on communicating with patients.

According to the Texas Medical Board, Ortiz was observed on surveillance tape placing individual IV bags into a warmer located in the hallway outside of the operating rooms. According to the findings of the investigation, whenever he placed a bag in the warmer, a patient would experience major difficulties shortly thereafter.

On June 21, 2022, a colleague of the physician who worked at the Surgicare facility felt sick on that day and brought one of the IV bags home with her to rehydrate. After inserting the IV at home, she suffered a heart attack and passed away almost quickly afterwards.

Upon closer examination, the plastic wrap that encased the IV bags revealed a number of minute punctures. According to the board, tests conducted on the bags revealed that they contained the local anesthetic bupivacaine, although the bags were not identified as containing this substance.

Following an investigation, the board came to the conclusion that Dr. Ortiz “failed to satisfy the standard of care for a patient during a procedure.” In August, the board made the announcement that another physician would be monitoring Dr. Ortiz’s practice.

In addition, Dr. Ortiz was held accountable for his actions in October of 2018, following a string of complaints of animal cruelty and domestic abuse.

Any inquiries regarding Ortiz’s arrest were referred to the United States Attorney’s Office by the Dallas Police Department.

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