Angered Patients Vent to Lawmakers Over Hepatitis Scare - 8 News NOW

Travell Eiland, Reporter

Angered Patients Vent to Lawmakers Over Hepatitis Scare

Posted: Updated:

Victims of medical negligence were given a voice Monday night in front of state lawmakers. One by one their stories were told -- from fear to confirmation that some were among the patients that did contract hepatitis C From a clinic that practiced poor procedures.

Some 40,000 patients of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada were told to be tested after it was found the clinic reused syringes and one time use vials.

Dozens of upset patients blasted the center for putting their lives at risk. While members of the State Committee on Healthcare were there to listen, listening wasn't enough for the people who have been made sick by the very people trusted to keep them healthy.

"They put me out with a contaminated syringe." One by one they took their turn sounding off. "This is the United States, not a third world country, and this is what you expect to happen in other countries."

Members of the State Committee on Health Care were there to listen, but listening wasn't enough for Clo Banks. She wants action.

Banks was a patient at the Endoscopy Center and now has tested positive for hepatitis C, "I have bitten off all of my nails down to the first knuckle because I am so stressed out behind this."

Banks fears her life could be cut short because of shortcuts taken at her doctor's office. Now she knows her results and she knows what must be done to fight hepatitis C, but thousands are still waiting to find out if their life is at risk.

Silvia Verges with Citizens for Patient Dignity says her group has been pushing for better inspections for years. She says if their call for help would have been heard, this disaster could have been caught sooner.

"Oversight and prevention is the key. Without it, distress will continue," she said.

The governor agrees, but the state hasn't been able to hire and retain qualified inspectors.

More inspectors will come too late for Clo Banks and the thousands of others who could be infected. While most are getting legal advice, a monetary award won't help ease her pain.

"What good is money going to do me if I am not alive to spend it? I should not have been exposed to that," she said.

The state board plans on taking the public comments from Monday night back to their April 21, 2008 meeting and then use it to begin writing new legislation. Many have called for immediate action, but little can happen until at least next year when the legislature is back in session.

Email your comments to Reporter Travell Eiland

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.