Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Irving Weekly Title

Dallas, Texas News

Dallas Anesthesiologist Convicted for Tampering with IV Bags Resulting in Patient Harm

On Friday, April 12, 2024, the Justice Department announced the conviction of Raynaldo Riviera Ortiz Jr., a 60-year-old anesthesiologist, for injecting dangerous drugs into patient IV bags. This action resulted in one fatality and multiple cardiac emergencies at a local surgical center.

Ortiz faced charges related to tampering with IV bags used at a local surgical center. Following an eight-day trial and seven hours of deliberation, a jury convicted him on multiple counts, including tampering with consumer products resulting in serious bodily injury and intentional adulteration of a drug.

“The facts brought out at trial in this case are particularly disturbing,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department will work with its law enforcement partners to hold accountable anyone who puts patients’ lives at risk by tampering with critical medical products.”

“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.”

“Patients expect that their doctors will use only safe and effective medical products during their surgeries. When illicit tampering occurs, serious harm and even death can result,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OIC). “Working with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to monitor, investigate and bring to justice those who would risk patients’ health and safety.”

Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Ortiz had injected IV bags of saline with dangerous drugs and placed them in a warming bin at the facility. Surveillance footage showed Ortiz replacing IV bags shortly before patients experienced complications in operating rooms.

The tampered IV bags contained a dangerous cocktail of drugs, including bupivacaine, epinephrine, and lidocaine. Patients experienced cardiac emergencies and other serious symptoms following surgeries.


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

At trial, doctors testified about the confusion they felt when their patients’ blood pressures suddenly skyrocketed. Reviewing medical records, they all noted the emergencies occurred shortly after new IV bags had been hung. Patients recalled waking up unexpectedly intubated in intensive care units they had been transported to via emergency medical transportation services, in pain and in fear for their lives.

Ortiz faces a maximum penalty of 190 years in prison, with a sentencing date yet to be set.

FDA-OCI Special Agents Chad Medaris and Daniel Allgeyer led the investigation into this case.

You May Also Like