A Texas anesthesiologist was arrested and charged on Thursday with tampering with a consumer product and intentionally adulterating drugs when he added drugs into the IV drips he used that may have caused cardiac arrests to multiple patients.

Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., a 59-year-old anesthesiologist whose license was suspended a week earlier, was arrested for tampering with the IV drips used in surgeries and adding, among other drugs, bupivacaine to it, which directly caused the death of his colleague Melanie Kaspar when she used one of the IV drips to rehydrate herself, according to the Daily Beast.

Ortiz, who has faced disciplinary inquiries regarding his practices as recently as May, has had over 10 surgeries between May and August of this year where patients developed cardiac emergencies during or after “otherwise unremarkable surgeries,” the DOJ reported.

Ortiz would reportedly put his own IV bags in the stainless steel bag warmers of other surgeries that had cardiac arrests or emergencies, with surveillance video showing him doing so during one of the surgeries that had complications during it.

“Our complaint alleges this defendant surreptitiously injected heart-stopping drugs into patient IV bags, decimating the Hippocratic oath,” U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham said.

“A single incident of seemingly intentional patient harm would be disconcerting; multiple incidents are truly disturbing. At this point, however, we believe that the problem is limited to one individual, who is currently behind bars. We will work tirelessly to hold him accountable. In the meantime, it is safe to undergo anesthesia in Dallas.”

Among the drugs that were found within the supposedly-tampered IV bags were epinephrine, bupivacaine, and lidocaine. Melanie Kaspar reportedly suffered from a lethal dose of bupivacaine when she drank a tampered IV bag to relieve herself of her dehydration.

Ortiz’s history of disciplinary inquiries includes a 2018 incident where he was reprimanded for not reporting a conviction after he shot his neighbor’s dog in the chest; in some disciplinary filings, Ortiz has been described as someone with a “history of violence against women.”

“The safety of the nation’s pharmaceutical supply is critically important,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton said. “The Department will vigorously prosecute this case consistent with the evidence gathered by our law enforcement partners.”

Ortiz could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the charges.

A doctor was charged and arrested on Thursday after he was found to have been putting drugs in IV bags, one of which caused the death of a colleague of his. This is a representational image. insung yoon/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.