Dallas doctor who killed fellow MD, infected others with IV bag convicted

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DALLAS, Texas (WJW) – A Texas doctor was convicted on April 12 after injecting dangerous drugs into patient IV bags, which led to numerous cardiac emergencies and one death.

According to the United States Department of Justice, 60-year-old Raynaldo Riviera Ortiz Jr. was charged in September of 2023 and indicted in October of 2023 in connection to charges that said he tampered with IV bags that were used at Surgicare North Dallas, a surgical center.

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Ortiz was convicted on four counts of tampering with consumer products resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of tampering with a consumer product and five counts of intentional adulteration of a drug after eight days of trial and seven hours of deliberation, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Evidence presented at trial showed that multiple patients at Surgicare North Dallas suffered cardiac emergencies during routine medical procedures performed by various doctors between May and August 2022.

More than a month after the emergencies began, an anesthesiologist who worked at the center died while treating herself for dehydration using an IV bag, according to the release.

In August 2022, doctors at the center began to become suspicious that the IV bags were tainted and causing the emergencies after an 18-year-old patient had to be rushed to the intensive care unit in critical condition during a routine sinus surgery.

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The IV bag that was used during the teenager’s surgery was analyzed. It was found to have contained bupivacaine, epinephrine and lidocaine, which could have caused the teen’s symptoms, according to the release. It was also found that the bag was punctured.

Surveillance video that was presented at trial showed Ortiz getting IV bags from the warming bin and replacing them shortly after, multiple times. These videos were recorded not long before IV bags were taken to operating rooms where patients became ill, according to the release.

According to the release, Ortiz was facing disciplinary action at the time for an alleged medical mistake that was made during one of his own surgeries. At the time, he faced potentially losing his medical license.

Other videos also showed Ortiz mixing vials of medication and watching as victims were wheeled out by emergency responders.

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“Dr. Ortiz cloaked himself in the white coat of a healer, but instead of curing pain, he inflicted it,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas said in a video statement. “He assembled ticking time bombs, then sat in wait as those medical time bombs went off one by one, toxic cocktails flowing into the veins of patients who were often at their most vulnerable, lying unconscious on the operating table. We saw the patients testify. Their pain, their fear and their trauma was palpable in that courtroom.”

A sentencing date for Ortix has not yet been set. He faces a maximum penalty of 190 years in prison, according to the release.

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