A Texas physician has been suspended and federal officials are investigating him after multiple patients suffered serious cardiac complications and one died, the Texas Medical Board said.
The board found that if Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr. continues to practice medicine, he’d pose a threat to public health and safety.
On Sept. 8, board staff found out from federal law enforcement that Ortiz is part of an investigation into serious cardiac complications and one patient’s death, the board said in a news release.
Based on a temporary order of suspension the board posted, the patient died while Ortiz worked at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas from May through September 2022.
According to the suspension documents, Ortiz was captured on surveillance footage at Baylor Scott & White putting single IV bags in a warmer in a hallway outside operating rooms. Shortly after, a patient suffered a serious complication.
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On June 21, a fellow physician took one of the IV bags home to rehydrate. Once she inserted the IV into her vein, she almost immediately had a serious cardiac event and died, the documents say. The Dallas Medical Examiner ruled that her death was caused by accidental bupivacaine toxicity.
Bags from the lab were tested and there were holes in the plastic wrap around the bags. They tested positive for bupivacaine, but they were not properly labeled.
An otherwise healthy patient had also suffered a serious cardiac event during routine surgery, so the remaining contents of the patient’s IV bag were tested, revealing similar drugs that shouldn’t have been there.
Ortiz was licensed in February 1991 and works as an anesthesiologist in the Dallas area, the board said. His public profile lists anesthesiology as his specialty, and he is also part of Garland Anesthesia Consultants; however, Ortiz is not board-certified.
The board said Ortiz violated multiple sections of the Medical Practice Act. He will get a temporary suspension hearing within 10 days’ notice, unless he chooses to waive it.
Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY’s NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757 – and loves all things horror, witches, Christmas, and food. Follow her on Twitter at @Saleen_Martin or email her at email@example.com.