More than 7000 dental patients may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis after it was discovered that instruments were not properly cleaned at a dental office.
On Thursday, in Oklahoma, health officials began urging patients to undergo testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV following an investigation of a patient where the source of an infectious disease pointed that dental instruments were the culprit.
The practice of Dr. W. Scott Harrington’s was inspected after it was determined that the patient, whom never had any other known issues, tested positive for Hepatitis C, which is associated with HIV and is one of the most common co-infections.
The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry reported that a number of sterilization issues at Harrington’s offices were found which included cross-contamination and a set of rusty instruments used on patients. These patients were known to have these infectious diseases.
Dr. W. Scott Harrington, who has been practicing for more than 36 years, closed his practices in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Owasso as a part of the investigations and currently faces losing his license.
Patients who visited Harrington’s clinics are urged to take testing as a precaution and the testing will be offered free of charge at the Tulsa Health Department’s North Regional Health and Wellness Center.
Dr. W. Scott Harrington is scheduled for a hearing April 19, 2013.