Daily Miner (01.14.13)
A Mohave County resident is suing the Ear & Sinus Center of the Southwest in Bullhead City, Ariz., after allegedly contracting hepatitis C while having a voice box nodule examined with an endoscope in January 2012. On November 30, 2012, the clinic sent the patient a letter stating that the equipment used in the procedure may not have been sterilized properly. The clinic suggested that the patient get tested for a variety of diseases.
The patient filed a lawsuit in Maricopa Superior Court on December 27, 2012, after testing positive for hepatitis C. The patient claims that the equipment used for the procedure was not properly sterilized. Robert Mosier of the law firm Hodes, Milman, Liebeck, and Mosier is representing the patient. The latest inspection report for the clinic on the Arizona Department of Health’s website is dated October 29, 2012, and shows no violations. Mosier states, "What we want to know is why did it take the clinic until November  to notify [the patient] of the problem? How many other patients were put at risk and why were procedures not followed?" Mosier’s office has not yet heard back from Ear & Sinus Center of the Southwest.
There are vaccines for hepatitis A and B but no vaccine for this strain of hepatitis. The majority of people who test positive for the virus have to live with it for the duration of their lives; however, doctors do say that, for reasons they cannot explain, approximately 15 to 25 percent of infected patients eventually shed the virus.