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A Texas doctor who was deemed a “medical terrorist” by prosecutors after allegedly poisoning IV bags, reportedly killing a fellow doctor and suffering heart problems for 11 other people, was ordered to hold no bail.
At a federal court hearing on Monday, prosecutors Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr. as a “medical terrorist” who used blood-curdling drugs to turn IV bags at a Dallas surgical facility into “poison bombs” that “detonated on unsuspecting patients.” TBEN 4 Dallas-Forth Worth reported.
He was ordered to remain in custody without bail pending trial.
Although he has a public defender, prosecutors argued that the anesthesiologist poses a flight risk, noting that he was allegedly carrying $7,000 in cash at the time of his arrest last week, a $1.3 million home. owns five luxury cars, including a Corvette and three Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and has tax liens for paying millions of dollars to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
TEXAS DOCTOR ARRESTED IN CONTAMINATED IV BAGS THAT KILLED DOCTOR
A criminal complaint accuses Ortiz of injecting nerve-blocking and bronchodilator drugs into patients’ IV bags at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare in North Dallas.
Surveillance videos played in court Monday show the doctor placed an IV bag in a stainless steel warmer outside an operating room on Aug. 19, according to TBEN 4. Minutes later, another staff took the bag and shortly after, a patient reportedly suffered. a heart attack.
Ortiz’s colleague, beloved anesthetist Melanie Kaspar, took home a supposedly contaminated IV bag on June 21 to rehydrate due to an illness. Almost immediately after inserting the IV into her vein, she suffered a severe heart attack and died. An autopsy showed it had been fatally poisoned by bupivacaine — a narcotic that the Justice Department says is “rarely abused” but used to relieve pain during surgery.
An 18-year-old male patient suffered a heart failure during scheduled surgery on Aug. 24 due to what turned out to be an apparently contaminated IV bag. The center identified 10 additional unexpected cardiac emergencies that occurred during otherwise unremarkable surgeries between May and August.
The incidents began two days after Oritz was notified of a disciplinary investigation against him for his treatment of a medical emergency. Other doctors noted that he complained that the center was trying to “crucify” him.
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None of the cardiac emergencies occurred during his own surgeries, and a nurse told police that Ortiz “physically waved away an IV bag she had removed from the warmer for him,” according to the complaint.
TBEN News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.