Health District Distributing Patient Letters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 21, 2011

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District has notified by mail 101 patients who underwent prostate biopsies or procedures for Visicoil™ implantable markers or gold seed radiation implants between Dec. 20, 2010 and March 11, 2011 at Dr. Michael Kaplan’s office at 4 Sunset Way in Henderson. The notification and subsequent testing recommendations are a result of the findings of a joint investigation conducted by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The joint investigation found Dr. Kaplan re-used endocavity needle guides, which are single-use-only medical devices, during these procedures. The health district is stressing that the risk of disease transmission is thought to be low, and testing is being recommended as a precautionary measure.

A patient list was provided to the health district by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners following its investigation. Patients identified as having one of these procedures during the specified time frame will receive a notification letter directly from the health district. In addition, a technical bulletin to area physicians was distributed and posted to the health district website in order to provide health care providers with testing information and recommendations.

The letter recommends patients who underwent these procedures within the identified time frame should contact their physicians in order to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. It is recommended that patients see their personal physicians for testing in order to ensure they receive appropriate care and follow-up information.

As a result of the findings of the joint investigation, the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners suspended Dr. Kaplan’s license on March 14.

At this time, no known cases of disease transmission have been identified as a result of this infection control breach. Based on information from similar situations in other states, it is believed the risk to patients is minimal.

For additional information about the investigation, contact the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners, (888) 890-8210. In addition, the health district’s helpline is available, (702) 759-INFO (4636). Information is also available on the health district’s website www.SNHD.info.

Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict or Twitter www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo.

Visit the Media Contacts webpage for media related inquiries.

###

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.