Second Nevada Clinic Shutdown over Hepatitis C Warning
Close to one week after the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada announced that it potentially exposed 40,000 Nevadans to HIV and hepatitis strains B and C, another clinic associated with DR. Dipak Desai has been shut down.
Although there are no indications of exposure at this new location, The Gastroenterology Center of Nevada at 1815 E. Lake Mead, Suite 207 was shut down today.
Last Friday the City of Las Vegas ordered the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada to close its doors after six patients who underwent procedures there were diagnosed with hepatitis C virus.
In the initial warning, the health district recommended patients who had procedures
requiring injected anesthesia at the location between March 2004 and
January 11, 2008, contact their primary care physicians or health care
providers to get tested for hepatitis C as well as hepatitis B and HIV.
It also looks like there are more possible closures to come.
Update - 3/4/08 10am pacific - I wanted to add this story I found. Very interesting that the City Inspector was locked out. This now makes it 3 of the clinics leaving only one of the affiliated clinics open.
The Henderson and North Las Vegas offices of a clinic at the center of a massive health alert were shut down by officials in the cities Tuesday.
Citing the public health emergency, officials in both cities ordered the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada to cease operations, effectively shuttering all but one of the group's facilities in the valley.
A Las Vegas office of the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada, 3150 Tenaya Way, remained open as of late afternoon Tuesday.
Clark County officials on Monday shut down three clinics owned by the medical group. Three days earlier, Las Vegas officials closed an endoscopy center on Shadow Lane where investigators found that staff reused syringes, contaminating vials of medication and infecting six people with hepatitis C.
Health officials have sent 40,000 letters to that clinic's patients, urging them to get tested for hepatitis C and B and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Henderson's action came after a city inspector was locked out of the medical group's office at 2610 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, Suite 105.
City spokeswoman Cindy Herman said the inspector was allowed inside at first, but when he went out to his vehicle to get some business cards and other information, the office's front door was bolted shut behind him.
The city immediately moved to suspend the office's business license after that, Herman said.
"When they denied us access, it brings a lot of questions to the forefront that we were not able to answer. When they decided to shut the doors and deny us access ... they basically closed their doors to the public themselves."
Henderson City Councilman Steve Kirk said the inspector was there to gather information, not close the facility. But Kirk, who serves as chairman of the Southern Nevada Health District board of directors, wasn't disappointed by the outcome.
"In my opinion, they ought to never be able to open again," he said. "It's unconscionable what they've done, quite frankly. I think everyone is outraged."
Within hours of Henderson's action, North Las Vegas officials ordered a similar office at 1815 E. Lake Mead Blvd., Suite 207, to close its doors.
North Las Vegas Business Licensing inspectors shut down the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada at 1815 E. Lake Mead, Suite 207 today. It is the sixth clinic associated with Dr. Dipak Desai, whose Shadow Lane endoscopy clinic has triggered a massive hepatitis outbreak scare.
The city’s notice states the clinic constitutes a public nuisance and that it has demonstrated “willful failure to observe long accepted and mandated medical sanitary protocols.”
The notice also applies to any similar business operations at other locations in North Las Vegas,, pending review by the city’s business licensing authorities.
“Our primary concern is to protect the health and welfare of our residents,” City Manager Gregory Rose said. “We are ordering this clinic to shut its doors until we can determine that they are operating in a safe and sanitary manner.”
The clinic is affiliated with the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, which potentially exposed 40,000 Nevadans to HIV and hepatitis strains B and C, according to health officials.
The city’s cease and desist order provides clinic administrators a chance to appeal the order at a City Council meeting scheduled for March 19, provided the clinic gives the city written notice of intent to appear.