An Ottawa doctor at the centre of an HIV and hepatitis scare in late 2011 failed a clinic inspection months earlier due to the use of unsterilized instruments and "gross cross-contamination" from a dirty scope, among other reasons, according to a report from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
Dr. Christiane Farazli, an internist who gave up performing endoscopies at her clinic in September 2011, was accused of using improper cleaning procedures for patients treated between April 2002 and June 2011, when the clinic failed the inspection.
Ottawa Public Health investigated Farazli after the inspection, and then sent 6,800 letters to former patients warning them to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
After a year-long investigation, public health officials said they found no cases linked to the clinic.
College releases reports on dirty clinics
The report on Farazli's Carling Ave. clinic's failed inspection was one of 11 released publicly Friday by the college, which has investigated out-of-hospital premises since April 2010.
The college accused Farazli of reusing single-use items, such as snares, that would pose "immediate potential harm to patients’ health using unsterilized instruments and it promotes the transmission of diseases."
What are out-of-hospital premises?
They are facilities that perform procedures such as cosmetic surgery, endoscopy and interventional pain management that are performed using specified types of anesthesia.
The report also accused a registered nurse at the clinic of failing to monitor vital signs during a procedure, as well as dipping biopsy forceps in formaldehyde before "re-inserting the same forceps into the patient’s esophagus without first rinsing it in water."
The full report can be found at the bottom of this page.
The college has posted inspection reports online for all 280 of Ontario's out-of-hospital premises online. They can be searched through a public register.
The facilities will be inspected every five years unless the college receives specific information about a facility, according to the college's deputy registrar.
"Part of the public interest is ensuring that physicians are competent and that facilities in this case are safe, and that the care provided is safe and the quality is there, and that there's information available to members of the public to make informed decisions about their care," said Dan Faulkner.
The public health investigation into Farazli cost the city $770,000 but the provincial government promised to reimburse those costs.
There was also a $10-million class-action lawsuit filed against Farazli in late 2011, including 1,200 former patients.