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Jennifer Heisler, RN

44 Patients Test Positive For Same Hepatitis C Strain as Anesthesiologist

By October 23, 2010

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Police in Melbourne, Australia raided a surgery clinic and a doctor's home after dozens of patients contracted hepatitis C.

44 patients have tested positive for the same strain of hepatitis C that Dr. James Latham Peters, an anesthesiologist at Croydon Day Surgery, has.  Dr. Peters provided anesthesia care to all of the women.  As of today,  58 women have tested positive for the disease, but at this time only 41 of the cases can be linked genetically to the doctor.

The women were treated at the Croydon Day Surgery center in 2008 and 2009.  The center is a women's health clinic that provides abortions.  A massive effort is underway to contact all of the women who were treated by Dr. Peters and diagnose anyone who may have contracted hepatitis.

The Australian authorities suspended the medical license of Dr. Peters in February, after determining that he was the source of the infections.

The authorities are trying to determine if the infections are the result of Dr. Peters intentionally infecting the women, a horrible accident, or perhaps another case like the one in Colorado where drug theft and abuse resulted in the spread of hepatitis to patients.  Dr. Peters has a history of illegally prescribing medication to his wife, and had his medical license revoked in the past, but was able to get it back after completing treatment.

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