In Melbourne's outer east, Richards, from Croydon Hills, Australia, is employed at the late-term abortion clinic in Croydon, one of the state’s busiest private abortion clinics, where 41 women patients are believed to have contracted hepatitis C.
Detectives have charged the nurse with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The 41 women had all been treated by anesthetist, James Latham Peters, aged 61, who was infected with hepatitis C. The women now appear to have the same strand of the disease as Peters. He informed the Health Department he did not know he had hepatitis C, before the department began an investigation late last year.
The Department of Health has tested more than 3000 patients and is seeking to test a further 300 former patients. Detectives are continuing to investigate allegations that patients at the Croydon Day Surgery (now called Marie Stopes International Maroondah) were infected with hepatitis C.
Peters was convicted over fake pethadine prescriptions in 1996 and was later subjected to random urine tests, to ensure he was not illicitly using drugs. It is understood that he has admitted to having a past substance abuse problem.
He no longer had to submit to supervised urine tests after March 2008 and worked until the end of 2009 at several clinics.
He was suspended by the Medical Board of Victoria, in February 2010, no longer able to practice as a doctor, having been convicted on child pornography charges. Peters has not worked at the late term abortion clinic since December 2009.
Individuals are most likely to contract Hepatitis C from shared needles, however blood contaminated swabs, other injection equipment, or fingers may carry the virus from one user to the next. Hepatitis C takes a long time to surface. It can cause fatal liver problems and is very difficult to treat.
It is thought the female patients at the clinic were deliberately infected between 2008 and 2009, though at this stage it is unknown how the infection took place.
In the United States, in 2008, a district health authority in Nevada issued a public warning and called on people who had used a Las Vegas clinic, over a four-year period, to be tested for Hepatitis C and HIV.
The warning followed an investigation which found the clinic had been responsible for unsafe anaesthesia injection practices.
The Southern Nevada Health District named six cases of Hepatitis C at the clinic, five of which originated from procedures involving anaesthesia, all on the same day.
It is thought a syringe that was used to administer anaesthetics to one patient may have contaminated the vial from which the anaesthetics were drawn. Intended for single use only, the vial was subsequently reused.
It is not believed this sort of incident was the case in the Melbourne clinic.
For more information about "Women Patients Infected With Hepatitis C By Doctor", visit website http://www.tropicpost.com/
About the author
Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys and her husband are CEO's and founders of YouMe Support Foundation, providing high school education grants for children who are without hope. You can help in this really great project by taking a few minutes to check out the Sponsor a Student program at (http://youmesupport.org). It will change the life of some really needy kids in the South Pacific.
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