Thursday, April 24, 2008 | 11:55 a.m.
Southern Nevada Health District officials said today that another 10,000 people may have been exposed to hepatitis C at a local endoscopy center.
That's in addition to the 40,000 people who have been notified that they need to be screened for the disease since January.
Health officials have updated the information since it was discovered that local outpatient medical clinics have reused vials of single-dose anesthesia, infecting a total of eight people with hepatitis C.
Last month it was learned that the Endoscopy Center of Nevada, 700 Shadow Lane, had reused forceps, bite blocks and rinse water during procedures. In one case, a single doctor performed two procedures at the same time.
"Putting all of the information together takes a lot of time and a lot of effort," said Brian Labus, Southern Nevada Health District epidemiologist.
Another recent challenge has been the fact that the health district does not have legal authority to hold the medical records. Metro Police seized the records, but they have not got the manpower to sort the medical records and patients have not had access to them.
An independent contractor is expected to prepare the records for patients and investigators.