Las Vegas Hepatitis Exposure
Health officials in southern Nevada say that 50,000 or more patients who underwent an colonoscopy at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada or the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center may have been placed at risk of contracting hepatitis or HIV because of unsafe injection practices by doctors and staff. Officials say that staff members frequently reused syringes and vials used to inject anesthesia, which can lead to the spread of infections between patients.
So far, at least 850 former patients have tested positive for hepatitis C or another blood-borne illness due to the clinics’ unsafe practices. Officials are currently investigating the main owner of the two clinics, Dr. Dipak Desai, and his partners on charges of possible criminal conduct, insurance fraud and medical malpractice.
Former staff members say that in addition to the unsafe injection practices of reusing syringes and medicine vials, they were ordered by Dr. Desai and other doctors to reuse the bite blocks that hold a patient’s mouth open during an endoscopy, as well as the biopsy forceps used to cut small tissue samples from the colon.
Because of these cost-cutting methods, thousands may have been exposed to hepatitis or other blood-borne diseases. Officials have begun to contact the 50,000 or more patients who underwent an endoscopy between March 2004 and February 11, 2008 to urge them to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
However, because of a number of patients who underwent procedures before this period have already tested positive for blood-borne illnesses, some experts believe that all patients who were treated at either of the two clinics should also be tested for these illnesses.
If you were treated at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada or the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center—even if you have not yet become ill—you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. To learn if you have a case, contact the law office of Hissey Kientz by calling toll-free at (866) 275-4454, or by filling out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page.