State Board Files Complaints Against 2 Doc in Hep C Case - 8 News NOW

State Board Files Complaints Against 2 Doc in Hep C Case

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The medical examiners panel filed the separate disciplinary complaints against Dr. Dipak Desai, who has been running the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. The medical examiners panel filed the separate disciplinary complaints against Dr. Dipak Desai, who has been running the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

The state Board of Medical Examiners filed 10-count complaints Monday against two doctors linked to a hepatitis C outbreak in southern Nevada, and the state attorney general filed motions in court to keep the doctors from practicing until the complaints are resolved.

The medical examiners panel filed the separate disciplinary complaints against Dr. Dipak Desai, who has been running the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and several other clinics, and against Dr. Eladio Carrera, who worked at and is a co-owner of the center.

The complaints were filed by Tony Clark, executive director of the medical board. The attorney general's office filed against Desai and Carrera in Clark County District Court, seeking restraining orders to prevent them from practice.

The complaints describe several cases in which patients at the endoscopy center were treated by Desai and Carrera and later were diagnosed with hepatitis C. Both doctors are accused of conduct that put the patients' health and safety at risk.

The doctors also are accused of conduct that brings the medical profession into disrepute, exploiting physician-patient relationships for financial gain, and failing to use "reasonable care, skill or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances."

Action against other doctors is expected, Clark said, adding, "We're starting with these two. The board's investigative committee believes they did several of the procedures which we understand resulted in hepatitis C."

Besides the medical board's activity, state legislators were told last week that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto's office and the Clark County district attorney are involved in a criminal probe into the crisis.

The outbreak prompted health officers to advise tens of thousands of former patients at several clinics to be checked for exposure to hepatitis and HIV.

Authorities blame the infections on the reuse of needles and vials of medication on multiple patients, and say they've traced eight acute cases of hepatitis C to Desai's endoscopy center and to another one he operated. The two clinics have surrendered business licenses and paid a total of $500,000 in fines.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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