DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Less than a week after Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr.'s anesthesiologist license was suspended, Dallas police arrested him Wednesday on a federal warrant in Plano. He is currently being held at the Dallas County Jail.
Ortiz has been under federal investigation in connection with tainted IV bags that may have caused the death of a colleague and caused complications in patients during routine surgeries. The Texas Medical Board took emergency action to suspend Ortiz' license on Friday.
The events under investigation happened at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare Center in North Dallas, which halted all surgeries on Aug. 24. after determining an IV bag had potentially been compromised.
Because he was arrested on a federal warrant, we know there will be at least one federal charge against him. The U.S. Attorney's Office has requested a judge unseal the arrest warrant. Until that happens, we won't know what the charges are.
Ortiz' suspension was announced last Friday after the Texas Medical Board called an emergency meeting Friday after hearing from federal law enforcement. It said it moved quickly because of what it considers imminent peril to the public's health.
The Board determined evidence exists linking Ortiz to compromised IV bags found at the surgical center.
According to the Board's order, Ortiz was seen on surveillance footage in the surgical 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."
The Board said lab tests on IV bags taken from the same warmer found "visible tiny holes in the plastic wrap around the bags." It said those bags contained bupivacaine, but were not labeled as such.
Tests done on an IV bag given to an otherwise healthy patient who suffered a serious heart complication during routine surgery found the remaining fluid inside contained similar drugs that should have not been present, according to the Texas Medical Board.
When given unknowingly, the Board wrote, "such drugs could and would be fatal."
Federal investigators also appear to be looking at Ortiz in connection with the death of Dr. Melanie Kaspar on June 21.
According to the Board, on that day, "a fellow physician at Surgicare ... took an IV bag home with her when she was ill to rehydrate. She inserted the IV into her vein and almost immediately had a serious cardiac event and died."
When CBS 11 reached out to Ortiz Friday, he denied playing any role in the incidents under investigation. His attorney has not responded to a request for comment today.
CBS 11 also reached out to Baylor Scott & White. They released the following statement: "On August 24, immediately upon determining an IV bag had potentially been compromised, Surgicare North Dallas paused all operations and notified the appropriate local and federal authorities. There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of those we serve."
It said it continues to actively assist authorities with the investigation.
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