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Las Vegas Man Says Endoscopy Center Missed His Cancer

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:05 AM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Colon Cancer, Hepatitis

A Las Vegas man says the Endoscopy Center missed his colon cancer, which is now advanced.  


IMAGE SOURCE: creativecommons.org, flexible endoscope, author de:benutzer:Kalumet

Hepatitis C, B and HIV are the fears of most people who have ever visited the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, where reused syringes, assembly line colonoscopies and less than sanitized equipment were all part of business as usual.

So far the count is six people positive for hepatitis C while thousands more are awaiting the results of their tests.

But the case of Kevin Rexford raises perhaps one of the most obvious yet overlooked concerns. Just how effective was the clinic at finding colon cancer?

Not very, says Rexford.

Rexford has filed a lawsuit against the clinic charging that the quantity over quality operation missed his colon cancer. 

The 46-year old Las Vegas pharmacist filed his lawsuit in January 2007 against the Endoscopy Center and Dr. Clifford Carrol, along with Dr. Dipak Desai, a co-owner of the clinic. 

Rexford now has only a 10 percent chance of surviving more than five years. His cancer has metastasized to his liver and abdominal wall.

Dr. Russell D. Yang, a gastroenterologist at the University of Southern California will testify on Rexman’s behalf that the clinic failed to identify the cancer, failed to perform a technically correct endoscopy and had failures in safety procedures.

Clinic documents show Rexford was not interviewed about how long he had suffered symptoms and did not receive a rectal exam to determine the source of his abdominal bleeding.

Rexman’s current doctor says in December 2004, when Rexman went to the Endoscopy Center, he had all of the signs of colon cancer, constipation and blood in his stool, fatigue and abdominal pain.

Rexford’s colonoscopy took eight minutes, including time for the anesthesia to take effect. That leaves three minutes to examine six to eight feet of colon. A thorough exam can take up to 30 minutes.

Dr. Carrol has testified in his deposition that he could do up to 33 procedures a day and even once did 50 colonoscopies in one day.

Rexford then had four follow-up visits with three different clinic personnel. Dr. Yang says Rexford “fell through the cracks” in a practice geared for high volume.

Dr. Carrol's lawyer, Sherman Mayor writes in documents obtained by the Las Vegas Sun, that his client did nothing wrong.   

Meanwhile, with state inspectors now visiting clinics, 22 of 50 clinics were not visited by state inspectors and have not been recertified within the required six-year time frame.  Some had not been visited in a dozen years.

Seven of the facilities inspected so far have infection control issues. 

The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, which has been linked to the outbreak of hepatitis C in six patients, had not been inspected since December 2001.

The chief health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District says ambulatory surgery centers such as the Endoscopy Center, probably should be accredited just as a hospital by The Joint Commission, an independent nonprofit organization that sets standards for the nation's accredited hospitals. #


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