Texas Medical Board suspends anesthesiologist's license for tampering with IV bags leading to colleague's death
The suspension will remain in place until the board takes further action on him
DALLAS, TEXAS: The license of an anesthesiologist, Dr Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr, who worked at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas, has been suspended by the Texas Medical Board on Friday, September 9, after he was caught tampering with the IV bags, which led to the death of the 55-year-old Dr Melanie Kaspar, who was also an anesthesiologist at Surgicare North Dallas, in June from cardiac arrest.
The news of the suspension comes a week after the surgery center got closed after it was found that they “compromised” IV bags, as per DailyMail. According to court documents, Texas Medical Board said, "Dr Ortiz was a part of an ongoing criminal investigation following serious cardiac complications and one patient's death connected with Ortiz's presence at the Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas facility from May through September 2022." In a press release via CBS, the Board explained that "it was determined that Ortiz' continuation of medicine poses a continuing threat to public welfare." The board’s order said he is now under federal investigation in connection with the death.
Ortiz was caught on surveillance footage in the center "depositing single IV bags into the warmer in the hall outside operating rooms, and that shortly thereafter a patient would suffer a serious complication,” says KTVZ report. The lab tests on the bags showed “visible tiny holes in the plastic wrap around the bags,” and said that these IV bags contained bupivacaine, which were not labeled. "Such drugs could and would be fatal when administered unknowingly and intravenously,” the medical board said in its order, as per NBC.
Kaspar's husband John said, "My wife Mel was an incredible person. She was beloved by her patients, peers, and everyone she worked with. To watch her die in such a tragic manner is something I will have to live with forever." The company which owns the surgery facility, Baylor Scott and White, previously said in a statement, "We remain focused on assisting investigators. There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our patients."
Ortiz has not been named a suspect and he hasn’t been charged with any crime. The suspension will remain in place until the board takes further action on him.