Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

(Las Vegas)City shuts clinic, with harsh words for owners
Las Vegas SUN ^ | 1 MARCH 2008 | Marshall Allen

Posted on 03/02/2008 6:58:14 AM PST by radar101

Official: Staff told to reuse vials, syringes to save money

Turns out, it was greed.

Dr. Dipak Desai, one of the state’s most prominent physicians, willfully chose to “mortally hazard his patients for profit” by operating an endoscopy clinic fraught with cost-cutting sloppiness, a Las Vegas city official said Friday.

Desai, who was a member of Gov. Jim Gibbons’ transition team in 2006, is the majority owner of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, the source of a disease outbreak that’s caused the largest hepatitis C scare in the country, according to health officials, who said 40,000 people who received anesthesia while undergoing endoscopic procedures there, including colonoscopies, must be tested immediately for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The clinic was one of the busiest of its kind in Nevada.

When Jim DiFiore, manager of the city’s business services decision, suspended the facility’s license Friday, he cited previously undisclosed findings by health investigators who inspected the clinic in January.

DiFiore said in a letter to the clinic’s owners that Desai ordered his nurses to reuse syringes and reuse single-dose vials of medication when administering anesthesia to patients who received endoscopic procedures. The practice, which allowed cross contamination of patients’ blood, caused six people to become infected with hepatitis C.

Desai did it to save money, DiFiore said.

The state Licensure and Certification Bureau, which oversees the ambulatory surgical center, allowed it to stay open because the dangerous procedures were corrected.

But DiFiore quoted a health investigator who said, “It’s very hard to believe that they won’t do it again,” when explaining why he was shuttering the clinic.

“The fact that, once caught, you have agreed not to engage in a technique well known to the medical community to subject patients to death or serious illness again does not persuade me that you won’t do it again,” DiFiore wrote.

Desai and the other Endoscopy Center owners would not comment for this story, on the advice of their attorneys, Abran Vigil and Alan Sklar.

DiFiore, who referred to the investigators from the Southern Nevada Health District, the Licensure and Certification Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a “tiger team,” said he was told by a CDC officer that the Endoscopy Center practices were so obviously dangerous it was like “driving the wrong way down the freeway.”

“I do not believe that there is any department of motor vehicles in this country that would not immediately revoke the driving license of a driver when given credible evidence that the driver had driven the wrong way down the freeway every day for the past four years,” he wrote.

Citing more information provided by the health investigators, DiFiore said many nurses knew the technique was dangerous to patients, but they were ordered by administrators, mainly Desai, “to engage in the practice in order to save money.”

Some followed Desai’s orders and risked contaminating patients with life-threatening diseases, while others disobeyed him, DiFiore wrote.

Desai used to sit on the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners, which has now launched an investigation into the clinic, which is also owned by Dr. Vishvinder Sharma, Dr. Eladio Carrera and Dr. Clifford Carrol.

Dr. Jim Christensen, an allergist who is on the board of the Health District, said the allegations in DiFiore’s letter elevate the situation from malpractice to criminal behavior.

District Attorney David Roger promised “a massive investigation” into what occurred at the clinic.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: lasvegas

1 posted on 03/02/2008 6:58:14 AM PST by radar101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: radar101

Official: Staff told to reuse vials, syringes to save money

Turns out, it was greed.

cool just like a 3rd world operation


2 posted on 03/02/2008 6:59:06 AM PST by Flavius (war gives peace its security)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NautiNurse

They closed the clinic (duh)...


3 posted on 03/02/2008 6:59:26 AM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

Anyone here who thinks this won’t happen under Hillary/Obama/socialized medicine, raise your hand.


4 posted on 03/02/2008 7:00:11 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101
Desai ordered his nurses to reuse syringes and reuse single-dose vials of medication

Total disregard for his patients.

5 posted on 03/02/2008 7:02:22 AM PST by Orange1998
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

Don’t you understand? HE WAS SAVING THE PLANET! /s


6 posted on 03/02/2008 7:02:40 AM PST by denydenydeny (Expel the priest and you don't inaugurate the age of reason, you get the witch doctor--Paul Johnson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

Dr. Dipak Desai is an American success story, an immigrant from India who built a small medical empire in the desert of Southern Nevada.

Now an aspect of that success is under scrutiny after health officials have determined that six patients treated at Desai's Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada were infected there with hepatitis C, a potentially lethal blood-borne virus. Investigators believe they became infected when workers used contaminated syringes and vials when injecting patients with medication.

Desai, a doctor in Nevada since 1980, is 65 percent owner of the center, according to Las Vegas city business license records. Three other doctors share ownership, with Dr. Eladio Carrera having the next largest stake with 14 percent, according to the records.

Desai has not commented publicly.

7 posted on 03/02/2008 7:02:58 AM PST by radar101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

BTTT


8 posted on 03/02/2008 7:05:29 AM PST by Cold Heart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Flavius

Any nurse who followed those orders to reuse biohazard material instead of proper disposal is also subject to license revocation.

Putting 40 thousand people at risk is a capital crime in my opinion. Everyone in clinic management is also at fault.


9 posted on 03/02/2008 7:12:47 AM PST by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: OCCASparky
Anyone here who thinks this won’t happen under Hillary/Obama/socialized medicine, raise your hand.

This is happening under a non Hillary/Obama health care provider owned by a a majopr Republican supporter. Fix what is before complaining about something that isn't.

10 posted on 03/02/2008 7:18:58 AM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (<I>)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: OCCASparky
Anyone here who thinks this won’t happen under Hillary/Obama/socialized medicine, raise your hand.

This is happening under a non Hillary/Obama health care provider owned by a a majopr Republican supporter. Fix what is before complaining about something that isn't.

11 posted on 03/02/2008 7:19:06 AM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (<I>)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SE Mom
I still can't fathom re-using the syringes "to save money." Syringes cost literally a dime a dozen. A search of medical supply companies shows 100 3cc syringes with needles cost about $17.00.
12 posted on 03/02/2008 7:35:24 AM PST by NautiNurse (Plants are people too)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

My point is, under a socialized health care system similar to what exists in Britain and Canada, this sort of thing will become MORE common.


13 posted on 03/02/2008 7:36:34 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: radar101

Humm maybe the Dr. will soon be undergoing anesthesia less, endoscopy exams himself under less than sterile conditions in Prison.


14 posted on 03/02/2008 7:50:02 AM PST by rolling_stone (same)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: rolling_stone

Desai can’t be convicted and imprisoned soon enough in my opinion. Unfortunately, he will receive far better quality of care in the prison system than he permitted his paying patients to receive.


15 posted on 03/02/2008 8:26:01 AM PST by NautiNurse (Plants are people too)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Flavius

FMGs bringing the 3rd world to the USA, more coming soon!


16 posted on 03/02/2008 8:43:03 AM PST by bigjackattack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Flavius

FMGs bringing the 3rd world to the USA, more coming soon!


17 posted on 03/02/2008 8:47:18 AM PST by bigjackattack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Flavius

FMGs bringing the 3rd world to the USA, more coming soon!


18 posted on 03/02/2008 8:47:28 AM PST by bigjackattack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
Anyone here who thinks this won’t happen under Hillary/Obama/socialized medicine, raise your hand.

This is happening under a non Hillary/Obama health care provider owned by a a major Republican supporter. Fix what is before complaining about something that isn't.


-----------------

Not the way I read the data.... he has given much more to Democrats than Republicans.

http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/dipak-desai.asp?cycle=08
19 posted on 03/02/2008 9:07:10 AM PST by az_gila (AZ - need less democrats)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: radar101
Desai did it to save money.


I am willing to bet he did not save anywhere near the amount of money it is going to take to clean up this mess.

This is so wrong on so many levels.

Why would anyone risk their financial future to "save a little money?

Why would any of the professional staff, some of whom must be liscensed by the state risk their liscense to do something they know is wrong?

It has been many years since I have worked in the medical field, but I would have quit my job before doing something this wrong (and most likely gone public as well).

Shame on all those that knew what was going on and kept quiet, and double shame on those that went along with it.

20 posted on 03/02/2008 10:06:18 AM PST by CIB-173RDABN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NautiNurse
I didn't even know that one could have an endoscopy (I've had 10 or 11) or colonoscopy (3) in a clinic outside of a hospital environment.

My docs always explained that it was hospital outpatient "just in case of a tear or perforation" - which would require pretty immediate surgery.

21 posted on 03/02/2008 10:16:36 AM PST by ErnBatavia (...forward this to your 10 very best friends....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: o_zarkman44
Any nurse who followed those orders to reuse biohazard material instead of proper disposal is also subject to license revocation.

Anybody in the entire chain of decision should be subject to civil and criminal penalties. What in the hell were they thinking when this was done even once?

22 posted on 03/02/2008 10:34:47 AM PST by glorgau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ErnBatavia

An endoscopy center is typically set up much like an ambulatory surgery center. Likewise, the center should have emergency plans for immediate hospital transport in the unlikely event a procedure becomes complicated. At this point, I couldn’t wouldn’t venture a guess about what contingency policies and procedures the Las Vegas quack shop had in place.


23 posted on 03/02/2008 11:14:00 AM PST by NautiNurse (Plants are people too)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: radar101
Sort of reminds me of the KC pharmacist who diluted cancer "cocktails" and became a multi-millionaire doing it. He's spending a rather substantial amount of time (but nowhere near enough!) time in prison. He claimed that he wasn't responsible for any of the deaths, since they were already dying of cancer... And due to the fact that anyone who died DID die of cancer... No way to hang a "real" murder charge on the guy...

One thing's for sure... When this came out, I checked to be sure that my mother hadn't gotten any or her medications from this piece of s**t before she died of cancer. Had she done so, I'd be waiting for him the day he steps out of prison, and happily gone to prison myself.

I certainly hope that there's a special place in hell reserved for health care workers who do this sort of thing.

Mark

24 posted on 03/02/2008 11:53:22 AM PST by MarkL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ErnBatavia
I didn't even know that one could have an endoscopy (I've had 10 or 11) or colonoscopy (3) in a clinic outside of a hospital environment.

I've had colonoscopies at my gastroenterologist's office, however it's in a medical complex with a hospital attached, so in a worst case scenario, I suppose that a patient could be in the ER within a few minutes.

Mark

25 posted on 03/02/2008 12:08:05 PM PST by MarkL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: radar101
If he re-used syringes in order to save money, where did he get the labor force to execute his orders to use dangerous equipment? I bet they weren’t all first-round draft choices.
26 posted on 03/02/2008 12:13:33 PM PST by Bernard (If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember exactly what you said.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

3rd world values...


27 posted on 03/02/2008 2:32:30 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: traviskicks
Desai used to sit on the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners

Thank goodness we have medical licensing by the government. Who knows what horrors free enterprise would yield?

28 posted on 03/02/2008 9:40:39 PM PST by secretagent (When cooking frogs - don't bring to a boil too rapidly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: secretagent

good point, blech. :)


29 posted on 03/03/2008 6:46:24 AM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/Ron_Paul_2008.htm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: radar101
Desai ordered his nurses to reuse syringes and reuse single-dose vials of medication when administering anesthesia to patients who received endoscopic procedures. The practice, which allowed cross contamination of patients’ blood, caused six people to become infected with hepatitis C. Desai did it to save money, DiFiore said.

He should face the death penalty for this.

30 posted on 03/04/2008 6:39:06 PM PST by montag813
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

I have been saying for years that we have been headed for third world medicine. Socialized medicine is just another name for third world medicine.

Never leave your loved one alone in a healthcare setting. it is third world and you will never know what happens to them. Never go to a freestanding privatly owned surgical or proceedural entinty. Everyone there is out to save their job and the pressure is too great. Go to a well respected medical center if you are very sick and to a small well thougt of hospital if you are looking for diagonstics.


31 posted on 03/05/2008 6:31:32 PM PST by Chickensoup (If it is not permitted, it is prohibited. Only the government can permit....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: traviskicks

bookmark


32 posted on 03/06/2008 7:47:20 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/Ron_Paul_2008.htm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson