Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Update On Hepatitis C Cases In Las Vegas

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, October 27, 2008 10:00 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Dr. Desai, Endoscopy Center, Hepatitis C, Endoscopy

105 cases of hepatitis C confirmed in Las Vegas, some attached to two clinics.


IMAGE SOURCE: Creativecommons.org/ flexible endoscope/ author de:benutzer:Kalumet 

The Southern Nevada Health District has identified 105 cases of chronic hepatitis C, nine of which are believed to have come from unsafe public health practices at two Las Vegas outpatient clinics.

Hepatitis C is an incurable blood disorder, transmitted through blood, that attacks the liver.

It can be asymptomatic and only came to light after one person was diagnosed with the infection after having a procedure at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

That facility and the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center are the two owned by Dr. Dipak Desai, a prominent Nevada gastroenterologist.

Then in July, the health district identified two cases related to the Endoscopy Center. One had a procedure on July 25, 2007 and the other on September 21, 2007, the known dates that disease transmission occurred. 

Of the total, nine have direct links to the clinics.

The health district has received forms from more than 7,000 former patients who were part of the investigation after having procedures at the clinics between March 2004 and July 11, 2008. 

The remaining patients with no identified risk factors as “possibly associated.” 35 former patients having one or more risk factors associated with hepatitis C infection are classified as “indeterminate.”  Risk factors could include multiple sex partners or IV drug use.

We still have some analysis to do,” said Brian Labus, an epidemiologist with the district. He said the new number represents an increase from the 86 reported in July, “but we don’t expect the numbers to change much.” 

In order to cut costs, employees at the clinics report they were told to reuse syringes, use a single dose of anesthesia on multiple patients. In some cases, equipment used during a colonoscopy was not sanitized between patients, they say.

The clinics have since closed and Dr. Desai surrendered his license to practice medicine during the investigation. At one point, IB News reports, he allegedly tried to have two luxury cars shipped to Dubai.

He and other clinic owners are facing over 120 lawsuits alleging medical negligence and a class-action by patients who do not have hepatitis but suffered emotion distress while waiting to find out if they did.

In July, a judge allowed emotional distress cases to be added to the class-action.

One 60-year-old man was diagnosed with hepatitis C and his Widow alleges in her lawsuit that he contracted it after being treated at the clinics.  #

No Comments

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes