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September 21, 2014

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Hepatitis scare

Dr. Dipak Desai, majority owner of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, leaves Las Vegas City Hall on March 3. Desai has surrendered his medical license pending the outcome of a state investigation.

Photo by Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun

Dr. Dipak Desai, majority owner of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, leaves Las Vegas City Hall on March 3. Desai has surrendered his medical license pending the outcome of a state investigation.

The largest hepatitis outbreak scare in the nation is playing out in Las Vegas, where 50,000 patients at an endoscopy center may have been exposed to infectious diseases because of unhygienic practices.

Share Your Experience

Patients and current or former employees of Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada who wish to share their experiences at the clinic are invited to e-mail Las Vegas Sun health reporter Marshall Allen.

So far, 114 patients have been identified by health authorities as having been potentially infected with hepatitis C at the clinic, which has been shut down — along with five sister clinics in the valley.

Criminal investigations are underway and the state’s medical and nursing boards are investigating the situation, which some nurses say was triggered by the clinic owner’s drive for profit at the expense of patient safety.

Frequently asked questions about the incident

Archive highlights

Voices of reason for health care crisis

Sun, Mar 16, 2008

In the midst of the largest hepatitis C scare in the nation’s history, many Nevadans have lost confidence in their health care providers. About 40,000 people have been told they ...

Assembly-line colonoscopies at clinic described

Sun, Mar 9, 2008

If you want to get a sense of the rushed medical procedures that patients encountered inside the clinic that triggered the unprecedented hepatitis scare, consider Duke Breuer’s experience. After undergoing ...

How hepatitis probe led to clinic

Sun, Mar 2, 2008

There was no cause for alarm when, on Dec. 4, health investigators learned of a case of acute hepatitis C.

All stories

Desai defense allowed to present rebuttal witness at competency hearing

Tue, Dec 13, 2011

Attorneys for Dipak Desai, the Las Vegas doctor at the center of the hepatitis scare in 2007-08, will be able to present one witness of their own to rebut findings ...

Lawyers to challenge competency finding for doctor in hepatitis scare

Tue, Nov 15, 2011

A hearing has been set for January for defense attorneys for Dipak Desai, the Las Vegas doctor at the center of the hepatitis scare in 2007 and 2008, to challenge ...

State Supreme Court to allow 'Dear Doctor' letter as evidence in Hepatitis lawsuits

Mon, Oct 24, 2011

The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to issue an order stopping the introduction of a key and disputed piece of evidence in the trial involving the hepatitis outbreak in Las ...

Not guilty plea for Desai in Las Vegas hepatitis case

Thu, Oct 13, 2011

A lawyer for a former physician-owner of Las Vegas-area endoscopy clinics entered a not guilty plea to federal conspiracy and fraud charges stemming from a 2008 hepatitis outbreak that affected ...

Defense attorneys told to subpoena documents on Desai’s competency

Tue, Oct 11, 2011

Defense attorneys for Dipak Desai, the physician at the center of the hepatitis C scare, were told this morning they will have about a month to subpoena documents from state ...

Drug firms told to pay $162 million in hepatitis C case

Mon, Oct 10, 2011

A jury on Monday ordered pharmaceutical companies to pay $162.5 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit that accused them of negligently distributing large vials of an anesthetic to Las ...

Jury deliberating in Las Vegas hepatitis C drug firm case

Thu, Oct 6, 2011

A Las Vegas jury is considering whether to award $25 million to five people in a civil lawsuit that blames drug companies and distributors for an anesthetic one plaintiff's lawyer ...

Court won't stop health district workers from testifying at hepatitis C trials

Fri, Sep 9, 2011

CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to issue an emergency order to stop employees of the Southern Nevada Health District from being called as witnesses at multiple ...

Drug company lawyer: Clinic at fault for hepatitis C outbreak

Fri, Aug 19, 2011

A lawyer for one of two drug companies being sued over a hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas says clinics - not drug manufacturers or distributors - were responsible for ...

Lawyer: Drugmakers knew vials led to contamination

Thu, Aug 18, 2011

A lawyer for a husband and wife suing two drug companies over a hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas says company officials purposely sold large containers of an anesthetic to ...

Trial related to hepatitis C outbreak begins in District Court

Wed, Aug 3, 2011

The second trial in the hepatitis C outbreak — disclosed by health authorities in Southern Nevada in 2008 — begins today in District Court.

Court allows civil suit in hepatitis C outbreak to proceed

Thu, Jul 28, 2011

The Nevada Supreme Court has lifted a stay allowing a civil suit to go forward against medical companies accused of distributing a defective product in connection with the outbreak of ...

State Supreme Court set to hear Clark County cases

Wed, Apr 27, 2011

The Nevada Supreme Court is scheduled next week in Carson City to consider five Clark County cases that include disputes involving medical malpractice, eminent domain, smoking, hepatitis C and construction.

Dipak Desai ordered to mental facility after found not competent for trial

Tue, Feb 8, 2011

The man allegedly at the center of the hepatitis C scare that rocked the Las Vegas area about three years ago has been found incompetent to stand trial — at ...

Henderson doctor linked to 8 deaths says board bowed to political pressure

Mon, Jan 24, 2011

A Nevada doctor implicated by authorities in the deaths of eight patients is leveling new allegations against the State Board of Medical Examiners over its suspension of his authority to ...

Videos

IBTV: Jon Ralston:  Now That's Juice
IBTV: Jon Ralston: Now That's Juice
The owners of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada must forfeit their business license and ...
Face to Face: Done Deal
Face to Face: Done Deal
The City of Las Vegas hearing into the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada was a ...
Endoscopy Public Comment
Endoscopy Public Comment
The massive hepatitis C scare is a defining moment in Nevada health care, for doctors, ...
Endoscopy Patient Reacts
Endoscopy Patient Reacts
Arnold “Duke” Breuer of Las Vegas went to a Quest laboratory Monday to have a ...
Hepatitis Scare Roundtable
Hepatitis Scare Roundtable
The Sun invited four experts to sit around a table and hold a conversation about ...
A Professional Approach
A Professional Approach
Senior epidemiologist Brian Labus shares his professional approach to the largest hepatitis C scare in ...

Slideshows

Endoscopy Center hearing
At a City Hall hearing Monday, attorneys representing the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada appealed ...

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