A Dallas anesthetist was arrested on allegations of willfully tampering with IV bags, resulting in the death of a co-worker and injuring multiple people, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s office.

Ortiz faces federal charges of tampering with a consumer product and intentionally tampering with drugs.

The criminal complaint states that on June 21, one of the from Ortiz Co-workers, 55, died immediately after using an IV bag from the surgical center where she and Ortiz worked. An autopsy revealed she died from a lethal dose of a nerve-blocking agent often used when administering anesthesia, prosecutors said.

On August 24, an 18-year-old man suffered a cardiac emergency during surgery and was hospitalized, prosecutors said.

Workers at the surgical center were then able to identify 10 additional cases where patients suffered unexpected heart emergencies during “otherwise mundane” surgeries between May and August 2022, prosecutors said.

Surveillance video linked Ortiz to several of the incidents, according to the complaint.

In one instance, Ortiz was captured placing a single IV bag in a stainless steel bag heater, scanning the hallway, and quickly walking away. Just an hour later, a 56-year-old woman suffered a heart emergency during cosmetic surgery after a heater bag was used during her procedure, prosecutors said.

In another instance, Ortiz was observed leaving his operating room carrying an IV bag hidden in a paper folder and swapping it for another bag from the warmer. About 30 minutes later, a 54-year-old woman suffered a cardiac emergency during scheduled cosmetic surgery after a heater bag was used during her procedure, according to the criminal complaint.

Prosecutors said all of the incidents began two days after Oritz was made aware of a disciplinary investigation for “deviation from the standard of care” during an anesthesia procedure. Additionally, all of the incidents took place around the time Ortiz was working at the facility, and none took place while he was on vacation. Prosecutors added that Ortiz complained to his colleagues that the center was trying to “crucify” him.

If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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