Report: Colonoscopy clinic reused syringes

Dec. 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM
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LAS VEGAS, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A colonoscopy center linked to a hepatitis outbreak engaged in numerous unsafe practices and should be prosecuted, authorities in Las Vegas said.

The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada reused syringes and single-use medicine vials and rushed procedures to detect cancer, The Southern Nevada Health District said in a report Monday.

Nine cases of hepatitis C genetically were linked to the center with another 106 cases possibly associated with it, the Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday.

When the outbreak was discovered last year, state health officials urged an estimated 50,000 patients to be tested for hepatitis, which put the cost of the outbreak at between $16.3 million to $21.9 million for testing and treatment.

Authorities have recommended prosecution of Dr. Dipak Desai, the majority owner of the clinic, and staff who allegedly engaged in unethical and unsafe medical practices.

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