Local Man Deals With Hepatitis Scare - 8 News NOW

Travell Eiland, Reporter

Local Man Deals With Hepatitis Scare

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Clark County has chosen caution over cost by closing three more medical centers. The move comes after hepatitis and HIV scares at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, which failed to get its license back from the city Monday. Now all four centers will be closed until mid-march.

Read Clark County's Suspension Order

Late Monday, the county suspended the licenses of Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center, the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada and the Spanish Hills Surgical Center.

Concerns that those centers practiced the same reusing of syringes forced the doors closed immediately.

Read The City's Suspension Order Here

Although the centers won't be seeing patients for awhile, hundreds of people are still getting letters from the health department asking them to get tested for hepatitus B, C and HIV.

Health District Sets Up Hotline in Hepatitis C Scare

Two years ago George Madden went in for a routine colonoscopy. Under anesthesia, he didn't know what happened then. But now that the clinic that performed the procedure has been shut down for unsafe health practices, he tries not to worry that something may have gone terribly wrong.

Southern Nevada Health District Hotline is (702)759-4636 (INFO)

"I never figured that going in or a simple health check up would put me in this position, but I have to deal with it," he said.

George is just one of 40,000 people being sent letters asking them to get tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C. He had no idea he was a possible victim until he received a letter Monday afternoon.

Lawsuits Filed Against Closed Medical Center

"I am not going to worry and cry about this thing, but for some folks they are going to bed and finally hitting the floor on their knees. This is the beginning of a nightmare and Vegas is in the middle of it and we have to survive," he said.

In December, the health department linked a number of hepatitis C outbreaks to the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

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Officials say employees would use the same syringes on numerous patients.

At city hall, attorneys for the center fought to get their license back with no luck, and county officials delivered notices shutting down three other centers run by the company as well.

Attorneys for the center wouldn't talk to Eyewitness News and patients like George are demanding answers, "You have to move rocks and get in the dirt to find out what the problem is."

He can't believe that in four years, no one working at the clinics spoke up.

"Not one person had a heart, or they flat out didn't know what they were doing. Someone knew and we needed a whistle blower," he said.

Health department officials say they are waiting on a second wave of possible victims from the incident. They also say patients need to get retested in six months, because it takes time for these illnesses to show up in test results.

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