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Texas surgical center stops operations after 'compromised' IV bag found

It was unclear what the IV bag was contaminated with or how it came to be.

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department is investigating after a local surgical center notified them of a "compromised" IV bag.

Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas, located on 12230 Coit Road, contacted the department after discovering an IV bag appeared to be "compromised."

It is unclear what the IV bag was compromised with or if there were multiple bags affected. 

The center said it paused operations the same day it discovered the possible compromised IV bag.  It's unclear if operations have resumed.

The police department said it was involved in an ongoing investigation but it could not comment further. 

In June, Melanie Kaspar died of what was initially thought to be a heart attack at her home, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Kaspar was an anesthesiologist who had worked at the surgery center earlier in the day, the source said. She was not feeling well and gave herself an IV at home that she’d gotten from the surgery center, the source said.

Recently, Dallas County Medical Examiner toxicology test results were completed and showed she died from toxic effects of bupivacaine, which is a drug used to numb an area during surgery or a medical procedure. Currently, the death is ruled accidental, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The source added that over the last few months, several other people have had unexplained reactions during or after surgery at that facility. One of those patients, according to the source, was an 18-year-old who went to the hospital for surgery last week.

That 18-year-old patient's lawyer, Bruce Steckler, told WFAA the patient suffered severe respiratory distress and was rushed to Medical City Heart and Spine Hospital, where he was intubated and placed on a ventilator. He was released five days later and is now in good condition, Steckler said.

"My client is cooperating with all law enforcement agencies. In addition, we are investigating the practices and procedures at the facility which led to my client likely receiving a tainted bag of IV fluid," Steckler said. "It’s extremely concerning that controlled substances were able to get into IV bags and raises concerns on the safety and storage of the bags, as well as the medication onsite at the surgery center. We are also concerned about the number of patients impacted prior to my client. Healthcare providers should be able to ascertain whether IV bags were used or contaminated prior to use. My clients are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again."

Steckler also said his client's parents were told at one point he had a "50/50 chance" of survival.

"We should be able to have checks and balances to prevent this type of incident from happening," Steckler said. "There's no reason in my mind why a physician or a health care provider can't determine whether in fact a bag has been utilized where someone has put in some medication that shouldn't have been there. We don't won't this to ever happen again to any other patient."

In their statement, Baylor Scott & White acknowledge one possible compromised IV bag. They told WFAA: “We are also contacting recent patients of the surgery center who may have questions, and we have created a dedicated phone line at 214-818-2794. There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our patients.”

If anyone has any additional information about the situation, or had any adverse reactions during surgery, WFAA would like you to email us at investigates@wfaa.com.

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