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Texas doctor found guilty of poisoning patients by putting dangerous drugs in IV bags

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A Texas doctor who was dubbed a “medical terrorist,” was found guilty of injecting heart-stopping poison into IVs at his former medical clinic in North Dallas.

FOX 4 in Dallas reported that a 12-person jury found Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz guilty on all 10 counts after nearly seven hours of deliberation.

When the verdict was read, Ortiz was reportedly wearing a mask and showed no emotion.

As a result of Ortiz’s action, several patients suffered cardiac emergencies and Dr. Melanie Kaspar died after using one of the IV bags, prosecutors said.

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Raynaldo Ortiz Jr.s booking photo beside Dr. Melanie Kaspar

Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz was found guilty of contaminating IV bags. Dr. Melanie Kaspar died after using one of the tainted IV bags. (Dallas Police Depart/ Obituary)

Federal prosecutors said the anesthesiologist committed the shocking crimes at Baylor Scott and White Surgicare North Dallas in retaliation for a medical misconduct probe. 

A criminal complaint accused Ortiz of injecting nerve blocking and bronchodilation drugs into patient IV bags.

Surveillance video showed the doctor placing an IV bag in a stainless steel warmer outside an operating room on Aug. 19, 2022. Minutes later, another staffer took the bag, and a patient soon after reportedly suffered a heart attack. 

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Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz shown placing IV bags in warmer

Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz, left, and a screenshot from surveillance footage where he’s seen tampering with IV bags that poisoned patients. (WebMD/U.S. State Attorney’s Office)

Ortiz’s colleague, beloved anesthesiologist Melanie Kaspar, took a contaminated IV bag home on June 21 to rehydrate due to an illness. Almost immediately after inserting the IV into her vein, she suffered a serious cardiac event and died. An autopsy showed she was fatally poisoned by bupivacaine — a numbing agent that the Justice Department said “is rarely abused” but used to alleviate pain during surgery.

“There’s no closure. My best friend is gone,” John Kaspar, Dr. Melanie Kaspar’s widower reportedly said shortly after the verdict. “I don’t think he ever looked me in the eye… It’s almost like you have so many emotions you can’t sift them out. You get flooded.”

The station reported that the witnesses called to the stand during the trial included the anesthesiologist who discovered the bags were tainted, John Kaspar, and a teen who suffered cardiac arrest during nose surgery.

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Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr. worked at Baylor Surgicare in North Dallas

The hospital where Dr. Raynaldo Rivera Ortiz Jr. tampered with IV bags that led to the death of another physician and sickened at least one patient.  (Google maps)

The incidents first began two days after Oritz was notified of a disciplinary inquiry against him over his handling of a medical emergency. Other doctors noted he complained the center was trying to “crucify” him.

FOX 4 reported that there were 13 patients between May and August 2022 who experienced similar cardiac emergencies, though prosecutors only charged the doctor with causing bodily injury to four of the patients in August.

A judge had ordered Ortiz be held before trial after prosecutors argued that he was a danger to the community by citing, in part, a 2015 incident in which he shot his neighbor’s dog in retaliation for the woman helping his then-girlfriend obtain a restraining order against him after a domestic violence incident.

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Ortiz was convicted of four counts of tampering with consumer products resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of tampering with a consumer product and five counts of intentional adulteration of a drug, prosecutors said.

Ortiz is expected to be sentenced in two to three months. He faces up to life in prison.

Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this report. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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