January 29, 2020
Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers' Rose Leto talks about a medical malpractice claim with CTV News
Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers' Rose Leto talks about a medical malpractice claim with CTV News

The colonoscopy results were good; Jack Goss had no signs of colon cancer. The bad news came a year later. A blood test found the 48-year-old had been infected with hepatitis C. A virus public health says he likely got during that exam.

I'm not sure what this is going to do to my future, how my health is going to be down the road.

A public health report confirms Mr. Goss is among four patients treated at this colonoscopy clinic and Kitchener, who now have the chronic liver disease after what appears to be a common yet preventable lapse it anesthesia use.

No one expects to go in for a colonoscopy and walk out with hepatitis C.

According to the report, the staff used a large multidose vial of the anesthetic propofol on five patients and may have reused the same syringes as well. Unaware that the first patient carried hepatitis C. In a statement, the colonoscopy clinic says it's cooperated fully with the public health office in its investigation. Then it's implemented advice on how to further strengthen its infection prevention and control practices.

There have been over 50 outbreaks just like this in the US and Canada over the last decade. Despite longstanding guidelines that discouraged the use of multidose vials because of this very risk.

The infection control community has been talking about this literally for decades.

Some doctors believe one reason is cost. Multi-use vials of anesthetic are less expensive and safer single-use files.

You need to get the owners and the people operating and working in these clinics to identify that this is a massive issue that needs to change. And until that message gets to that level, I'm afraid we're still going to be seeing more outbreaks like this.

It's one reason why Jack Goss is suing, making his case public.

I want it to be safer for people going into these colonoscopies in the future. So nobody has to go through this. Like I am.

In fact, the US has launched a national campaign to reduce the risk of these contamination errors, and doctors say more should be done in Canada to keep patients safe too. Scott?

Now Avis, what exactly are they planning to do to protect Canadians?

Well, besides enforcing the guidelines, some doctors say that maybe the government should tell drug companies to stop selling these multi-use vials, making cases like this, the public helps with awareness. And also, you want to tell patients that they do have the right, if they're going for a colonoscopy, to ask if the precautions are in place.

Now, what about the people out there who have actually contracted Hep-C?

It's a lifelong illness. Now, there are drugs that do help, but they are very expensive. They can be up to a thousand dollars a day for up to eight weeks, and there's a petition to see if the government of Ontario will cover it for these four patients because of how they were, in fact, did.

I'm sure they're going to be watching that Avis. Thank you very much. Thank you.

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