Texas Doctor Who Warmed IV Bags Suspended After Cardiac Episodes



Saying Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr. poses a threat to public health, the Texas Medical Board has suspended the anesthesiologist pending an investigation into cardiac complications suffered by several patients. One of them, a physician, died, USA Today reports. Surveillance video shows Ortiz putting single IV bags in a warmer outside operating rooms at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas. One patient had a serious complication shortly afterward, and a fellow physician died after she took one of the IV bags home to rehydrate in June. Board records show she had a serious cardiac event almost immediately after putting the IV into a vein.

Bags from the lab were improperly labeled, had holes in the surrounding plastic wrap, and tested positive for bupivacaine. The medical examiner ruled that accidental bupivacaine toxicity caused the doctor’s death. Tests after another patient had a serious cardiac event during routine surgery found similar drugs that shouldn’t have been in the patient’s IV bag. The board imposed the suspension once it learned that federal law enforcement has begun a criminal investigation of the case. It will be in effect until the board decides its next move.

Ortiz received his license in February 1991 and lists anesthesiology as his specialty, but he is not board-certified, per USA Today. His employer said it’s cooperating with the investigation. Reached by KTVT, Ortiz said he’d done nothing wrong. “I’m just devastated,” he said. Dallas police also are investigating. (Read more anesthesiologist stories.)

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