Doctor should make no excuses

To the editor:

I am both horrified and dismayed by the excuse used by Dr. Michael Kaplan, who blames an equipment vendor for suggesting he could reuse single-use needle guides ("Urologist defends practice," Wednesday Review-Journal). As a practicing health care provider for more than 30 years, I can tell you that the paid advertisement from the attorneys representing Dr. Kaplan demonstrates ignorance of basic medical infection control practices.

It is true that there are various levels of disinfection, but this argument does not apply to medical equipment that is sold and labelled as "single-use." The hepatitis virus can only be killed with autoclaving which provides "sterilization." Many items, including "single-use" items cannot be sterilized in this manner because the materials of which they are constructed cannot tolerate the high temperatures involved in autoclaving.

This is precisely why they are marketed as "single-use."

Any equipment contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids must be either autoclavable or used only once and discarded. All health care professionals are taught that the buck stops with them.

The equipment vendor's job is to sell equipment. He or she does not have a medical degree.

A health care professional who takes the advice of an equipment vendor, especially when that advice is contrary to what he has been taught in medical school, is a fool and should rightfully have his license suspended.

Maria A. Rabbio

Las Vegas

Road waste

To the editor:

As a 35-year resident of Las Vegas, I never cease to be amazed at the apparent waste in our road construction projects. Some roads are continuously torn up and never finished. Perfectly good roads are dug up and replaced with roads no better than the ones they replaced.

The interchange at Blue Diamond is an example. A perfectly good interchange dug up for over a year and the final product will be no better than the one it replaced.

Russell Road is another example of 10 years of road construction and no improvement. How many hundreds of millions have been wasted?

This money could have been better used to preserve our universities and community college system. Now we face Draconian cuts that eliminate educational opportunities for our best.

I would rather have our kids getting a good education and drive on a smaller road. How long will we tolerate the obvious waste in road construction? Kids first.

Bob Wong

Las Vegas

For what it's worth

To the editor:

After reading the Tuesday article, "Appraisals pre-empt some sales of houses," I feel obligated to relay my experience.

In 2009 I submitted a proposal to my bank for a home refinance. My credit was excellent and the bank controlled most of my finances. My scenario should have made me a good candidate for the bank's program.

Then came the appraisal of my home. Not only was the square footage incorrect, it was also 25 percent below norm.

I provided proof of the appraiser's mistakes and agreed to pay a second time for a new appraisal, but the bank Real Estate Department refused to acknowledge my plea and frustration.

I kept pushing the issue for another seven months and in 2010 I received a second appraisal.

The second appraisal came in $53,000 higher. The stupidity of this entire matter is that if the initial appraisal had been $1,600 higher the refinance would have followed the bank's guidelines.

It should be noted that prior to retirement my occupation was a licensed real estate broker working in the private and government sector. I hired and fired many real estate appraisers. I have learned that many appraisers will use the low-ball end to avoid possible future conflicts. I have also worked with appraisers who adjust to a higher figure when requested.

It is my opinion that low-ball appraisals can damage the housing market recovery.

I feel sorry for those folks without real estate experience who have been turned down for loans because of bad appraisals.

Don Ellis


Dead cyclists

To the editor:

As a former resident of 30 years who rode a motorcycle in Las Vegas for 20 of them, I'm concerned about the new attempt to overturn the state's helmet law (Monday Review-Journal).

In the past 20 years, 99 percent of motorcycle fatalities in Vegas were helmeted -- and at least 90 percent were the auto/truck driver's fault. The real problem is that killing a rider in Las Vegas has never been prosecuted to the same extent as killing someone in a car or truck.

I hate the helmet law, but until Nevada stops making motorcyclists expendable, you're better off wearing one.

John Devine

Flagstaff, Ariz.

Only money

To the editor:

And now there is Libya. Why is it that the United States always cries "poor" when it comes to spending money to help people here at home, but seems to have a bottomless pit of cash when it comes to global military spending and wars?

And why do we all appear so complacent about this sad reality?

Thousands of lives lost in Iraq and, what ... so far a trillion dollars and counting? All so we can open up the newspaper each day and breathe a sigh of relief that suicide bombings in Baghdad now kill merely dozens, instead of hundreds? Mission accomplished.

A trillion dollars, to date, for the regime change in Iraq. What could a trillion dollars buy?

A cure for cancer? Health care for everyone? A solvent Social Security system, ad infinitum?

And yet, the angry protests stem not from that outrage, but from a reformed health care system designed in part to help prevent people's lives from being financially destroyed if they get sick.

Sick, indeed.

Rob Powers

Las Vegas