Trials & Litigation

Doctor convicted of 2nd-degree murder over Hepatitis C transmissions at endoscopy clinics

After a two-month trial and two days of deliberation, a Nevada physician and a nurse anesthetist were convicted Monday of multiple criminal counts concerning a 2007 outbreak of Hepatitis C at endoscopy clinics at which they worked.

Dr. Dipak Desai, who operated the clinics, was convicted of second-degree murder and 26 other charges by a Las Vegas jury. Nurse anesthetist Ronald Lakeman was convicted on 16 counts but found not guilty on 11 counts, including a murder charge, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Lakeman’s lawyer said he filed an appeal of his conviction in the Clark County District Court case. A lawyer for Desai, who has given up his medical license, declined comment. Both were immediately taken into custody after the verdict, pending a September sentencing date.

Another nurse anesthetist, Keith Mathahs, who was also charged in the case, pleaded guilty earlier and was a witness for the prosecution in the case against Desai and Lakeman.

Prosecutors said the Hep C outbreak was caused by dipping syringes used on multiple patients into the same oversized bottle of propofol, a surgical anesthetic used in endoscopy procedures. This did not comply with standard medical practice.

See also: “Doctor and nurse at trial in murder case over Hep C transmission at endoscopy clinics”

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