CDC Takes Closer Look at Endoscopy Clinics' Practices - 8 News NOW

Melissa Duran, Reporter

CDC Takes Closer Look at Endoscopy Clinics' Practices

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Local Endoscopy clinics can be expecting some surprise visitors in the next couple of weeks. State inspectors and experts from the Centers for Disease Control will be showing up to take a deeper look into these practices.

The last few weeks have been pretty busy for gastroenterologist Osama Haikal, taking in new patients and answering questions from people who were possibly exposed to hepatitis and HIV at another Endoscopy clinic in Las Vegas.

"I don't want them to shy away from having a very necessary screening procedure," said Dr. Haikal.

His Digestive Disease Center in Summerlin got a surprise visit from state inspectors just a few days ago. His office on Desert Inn also got inspected, watching every move inside the procedure room to reviewing their policy manual.

He did nothing to prepare for the visit and was confident nothing wrong would be found.

This ambulatory surgical center was inspected just a few weeks ago and had no problems but some doctors still feel they have a black eye. Thanks to bad practices by others, Dr. Haikal is feeling the effects, trying to calm patient fears.

The problems with the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada has prompted state inspectors and experts from the Centers for Disease Control to take a closer look at 50 ambulatory surgical centers throughout the state.

Dr. Michael Jhung, of the CDC said, "There are some things that never should happen in medical care. One of those things is re-uses of syringes in patients so we are taking it quite seriously."

Dr. Haikal says while more regular inspections help, what's really needed is a set of guidelines followed by every Endoscopy center, instead of each having a separate policy.

"Sit down and come up with a consensus. This is the policy on how to clean the scope. This is accepted infection control in any facility," said Dr. Haikal. But for now, his top priority is making his patients see not every doctor breaks the rules.

The CDC inspections begin Thursday. Also, a top Nevada health administrator says the state can do better when it comes to preventing the spread of infectious disease in Nevada clinics.

Richard Whitley with the Nevada State Health Division says his agency will review its inspection policies after it completes a full survey of Nevada's 50 outpatient surgery centers.

Email your comments to Reporter Melissa Duran.

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