Mayor: Clinic hearing to be wide-ranging

If Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has his way, a scheduled hearing involving a troubled endoscopy clinic will be about much more than simply revoking the clinic’s license to do business in the city of Las Vegas.

"I think the public is entitled to have these people account to them sooner than later," Goodman said Thursday during his weekly news conference. "I didn’t see anybody who was able to move the process along quickly enough in order to accomplish that other than the City Council."

A hearing on the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada’s business license is scheduled for 1 p.m. April 7 in Las Vegas City Hall.

The city suspended the license Feb. 29, shortly after health officials reported that unsafe practices at the clinic were linked to six cases of hepatitis C. Letters went out to 40,000 former patients, urging them to be tested for hepatitis and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Health officials reported that at the Las Vegas clinic, located on Shadow Lane, syringes were regularly reused on patients when administering anesthesia. That raised the possibility of contaminating vials of medicine, which were then reused on other patients.

"Wherever I go, people come up to me and say they have a family member, they themselves, they have a friend, they know somebody who went and got this endoscopic treatment, and they’re frightened. They’re angry," Goodman said. "Until they get the word back from their blood test that they’re OK, they live in mortal fear."

He added that he has instructed the city attorney’s office to serve notice to the clinic’s owners that they must attend the April 7 hearing. He also wants nurse anesthetists from the clinic to attend, as well as state and local health officials.

"They’ll all be under oath, we’ll get hopefully to the bottom of what really happened," he said.

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