Tainted IVs | Grand Jury Indicts Alleged ‘Medical Terrorist’

Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz
Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz on hospital footage | Image by CBS

Dallas anesthesiologist Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz was indicted last Wednesday on 10 federal counts related to his alleged doping of IV bags that caused multiple medical emergencies at a Dallas surgical center and may have resulted in at least one death off-site.

A federal grand jury convened and voted to indict Ortiz on five counts of tampering with consumer products and five counts of adulteration of a drug, according to the indictment. Four of the tampering counts are qualified as resulting in “Serious Bodily Injury.”

All 10 of the counts stem from several occasions in August, captured by video surveillance footage, when Ortiz seemingly placed contaminated patient IV bags that he allegedly spiked with nerve-blocking agents and other drugs into warmers intended to store IV bags that were about to be administered to patients, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Per the indictment, four patients at a Dallas surgical center where Ortiz worked suffered cardiac emergencies after being administered spiked IV bags that Ortiz allegedly planted in the facility’s bag warmer.

After staff members at the facility pulled some of the IV bags for testing, puncture holes were discovered. Chemical testing revealed that the solution inside contained bupivacaine, a nerve-blocking agent, according to the indictment.

The DOJ now suspects Ortiz of being responsible for at least six other medical emergencies between May and July at the Baylor Scott & White Surgicare in Dallas, where Dr. Ortiz worked, a fact first reported by The Dallas Express. While referenced in the indictment, Ortiz has yet to be charged in association with them.

Also mentioned in the indictment without an associated charge is the death of one of Ortiz’s colleagues, Dr. Melanie Kaspar. She had taken an IV bag home and administered it herself. The bag contained bupivacaine, causing a fatal heart attack.

During the preliminary detention hearing, prosecuting attorney John de la Garza alleged that Dr. Ortiz was “nothing less than a medical terrorist” responsible for planting “medical bombs” with the intent to cause serious harm.

As reported in The Dallas Express, the facility recently reopened after shuttering for nearly a month following the string of medical emergencies allegedly caused by adulterated drugs in IV bags handled by Ortiz.

Ortiz’s arraignment for the indictments will be held this Friday in federal court at the Earle Cabell Federal Building downtown.

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