Texas Dr. Reinaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., accused of killing a colleague by intravenous drip, disturbing history

Texas Dr. Reinaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., accused of killing a colleague by intravenous drip, disturbing history

The Daily Beast has learned that a Texas doctor, whose license has been temporarily suspended amid a criminal investigation into the death of one of his colleagues, has a disturbing history of charges of animal cruelty and domestic abuse.

On September 9, the Texas Medical Council suspended the license of Dallas anesthesiologist Dr. Reinaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr., 59, referring to an ongoing investigation into “serious cardiac complications and one patient death” at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare between May and September. Ortiz is accused of tampering with the facility’s intravenous bags.

The board’s suspension order alleges that surveillance footage of the surgery center showed Ortiz “single IV bags placed in a heater in the auditorium outside the operating rooms” and that “soon thereafter the patient will experience serious complications.”

Authorities say fellow anesthesiologist Dr. Melanie Caspar died in June shortly after taking an IV home to rehydrate when she was ill. While her obituary said she had had a heart attack, officials later determined that Caspar died of accidental bupivacaine toxicity. “Lab tests were performed on IV bags from the heater, which showed small visible holes in the plastic wrap around the bags,” the order states. “These tampered sachets contained bupivacaine but were not labeled as such.” It is unclear how bupivacaine got into the IV pouch.

The board’s suspension request concluded that “Ortiz’s continued practice of medicine constitutes an ongoing threat to the public good.”

Prior to his current legal troubles, Ortiz was charged and convicted of shooting his neighbor’s dog in the chest with a pellet gun. As the medical board alleged in previous filings, he had a “history of violence against women”.

According to court records in the animal cruelty case, Ortiz’s neighbor Roxanne Bogdan helped his ex-girlfriend out in December 2014 after police were called there over a domestic dispute. Bogdan will also later testify about this incident at a women’s protection order hearing against Ortiz.

Ortiz was convicted of a misdemeanor of cruelty to an inanimate animal and sentenced to 25 days in prison, two years of community supervision, and a $4,000 fine for shooting the dog. He was also ordered to pay $505 to the vet’s bill for the dog, attend anger management counseling, and refrain from harassing or threatening his girlfriend, children, neighbors, and their children.

The Dallas Court of Appeals upheld Ortiz’s conviction and sentence memo view Details of some of the animal abuse allegations.

According to the verdict, Bogdan believes Ortiz blamed her for his breakup with his ex-girlfriend. The day before the shooting in April 2015, Ortiz allegedly visited Bogdan’s home and argued with his girlfriend over a megaphone about arranging custody of the child.

Then she ran into her backyard and saw her dog’s chest covered in blood.

The next afternoon, Bogdan was in her bedroom when she heard Ortiz’s “very loud sports car” banging in his driveway. She heard a gunshot and her dog yelled moments later. “Then she ran into her backyard and saw her dog’s chest covered in blood,” the verdict read.

“Bogdan called his girlfriend, who came to take her with her dog to the animal hospital,” the recording continues. “The dog survived.”

Opinion says Bogdan called 911 on her way to the animal hospital and said she believed Ortiz shot her dog. She later testified that Ortiz frequently shot rabbits in his yard and that they ran into her yard and died.

Ortiz’s ex-daughter, who once lived with her mother and the doctor, also testified that Ortiz had told her “hundreds” of times that he wanted to shoot Bogdan’s dogs and that he seemed annoyed by their barking.

“The circumstantial evidence in this case was sufficient to establish that the appellant was the one who shot Bogdan’s dog,” the court’s January 2018 ruling said, adding that “there was evidence of hostility between” Ortiz and Bogdan after he separated from his girlfriend and that he “threw He blamed Bogdan for the break-up.”

Bogdan declined to comment, and The Daily Beast was unable to reach Ortiz.

The incident involving the dog led to Ortiz being reprimanded by the State Medical Council in October 2018 for “not notifying all hospitals of his misdemeanor charges” and ordering him to pay an administrative fine of $2,000.

One of the medical board records in this episode referred to Ortiz’s alleged “history of violence against women.” In an amended complaint, the Board of Directors highlighted the 1995 arrest for assault causing injury to a spouse. The document states that in 2005, a second partner filed an emergency protection application against Ortiz, and in December 2014, he was arrested for domestic violence assault with a third partner.

In August, the board took action against Ortiz again for failing to “meet the standard of care for a single patient” during a November 2020 procedure at North Garland Surgery Center. According to the panel, after Ortiz administered anesthesia, the patient required CPR and emergency care.

The board ordered Ortiz’s practice to be monitored by another physician and for Ortiz to take a jurisprudence test and pay a $3,000 fine.

Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas, where Ortiz and Kaspar both practiced, is temporarily closed pending a criminal investigation with a doctor.

Texas attorney Bruce Steckler represents five patients who had medical emergencies at the surgery center after undergoing anesthesia for routine procedures.

As a subsidiary of ABC WFAA mentioned, these patients included an 18-year-old woman who underwent cholecystectomy, an 18-year-old man who underwent nasal surgery after a dirt bike accident, a 21-year-old woman who underwent breast reduction, and a 39-year-old man He underwent a reverse vasectomy. Steckler said the fifth patient, a man in his 50s, had a heart attack during surgery and the staff stopped the operation. The man was later told he had an underlying heart condition, but the medical staff were unable to determine what caused the situation.

earlier this month, Dallas Morning News It reported that federal officials contacted the family of an 18-year-old who underwent surgery for a deviated septum on August 24 and may have been treated with a contaminated intravenous bag.

There is no reason why these venous sacs should contain the drugs that were found in those sacs.

Surgery was halted for the patient halfway through because he developed acute respiratory distress due to high blood pressure. He was taken to hospital to be intubated and put on a ventilator before being released five days later.

Steckler told The Daily Beast that he believes 10 to 20 patients should be intubated, ventilated, and taken to the emergency room for tampering with intravenous bags.

“When you have surgery, you are at your weakest,” Stickler said. “You are completely unconscious, and for all intents and purposes you are wearing no clothes but a gown, and you are costing these people your life. So, it is very scary, and you hope the facility will take every possible precaution to make sure that only the most qualified personnel are and that all medications are monitored and properly checked.

“There is no reason why these venous sacs should contain the drugs that were said to have been found in those sacs,” Steckler added.

In a statement, the father of the 18-year-old patient told The Daily Beast he wanted to make sure no other parent came close to losing their child to a routine surgery.

“Our primary concern was, and remains, ensuring that nothing similar would happen to anyone else,” the father said. This is why investigation is so important to us. It is critical that we know how it happened, so that we can know what safeguards can be put in place to prevent this from happening again.”

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