At a post-suspension hearing held today, a panel of city officials denied the appeal of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada was served with an emergency suspension of its business license by city of Las Vegas Business Licensing officials on Friday, February 29, per Las Vegas Municipal Code 6.02.363. The center was closed. The owners were entitled to a prompt post-suspension hearing. The hearing took place at City Hall at 1:30 p.m.
Two of the principal owners of the center and their attorneys met with the city panel, which is comprised of the city manager, the director of the Finance and Business Services Department and the manager of the city's Business Services Division.
The city recently learned of an investigation by the Southern Nevada Health District, the State Bureau of Licensure and Certification and the Center for Disease Control finding that the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada performed 40,000 colonoscopies on patients utilizing techniques that fell well below accepted medical practice. Specifically, registered nurses and certified registered nurse anesthetists were directed to reuse syringes when administering anesthesia. In addition, these individuals were instructed to reuse vials of medication. This resulted in cross contamination. As a result of this, it has been initially determined that a patient was infected with Hepatitis C in July 2007 and five other patients were infected with Hepatitis C in September 2007. Forty-thousand other patients were put at risk of infection with life threatening communicable diseases.
Investigators were told by clinic staff that administrators ordered them to engage in the practice in order to save money. Although the center has agreed to no longer engage in this practice, city business license officials are not confident the practice will stop.
Patients concerned that they were infected should contact the Southern Nevada Health District at http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/ or (702) 759-4636 (INFO).