Oklahoma Dentist Office 7,000 patients who may have been exposed to HIV and Hepatitis

Oklahoma Dentist Office 7,000 patients who may have been exposed to HIV and Hepatitis

Among the 7,000 patients who may have been exposed to HIV and Hepatitis in an Oklahoma dentist’s office are children, as their nervous parents wait to get them tested and grapple with how to explain the public health nightmare.

Deann Zavala took her four children to Dr. Wayne Scott Harrington, an oral surgeon who practices in Tulsa and Owasso. She said her youngest daughter had a tooth extracted.

“How do you look at her and be like, ‘You could have AIDS?'” she told ABC News Radio.

The state dental board is offering free testing to Harrington’s patients after a 17-count complaint revealed his allegedly poor sterilization practices could have put them at risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B.

Patients received a letter from the Tulsa Health Department on Friday informing them of an inquiry into Harrington’s practice and advising them to get screened.

Zavala, who said she trusted Harrington to care for her four children, was left shaken.

“If you can’t trust a doctor and a dentist and … the people that are supposed to do right by you … who can you trust?” she said.

Source & Read-More: ABC NEWS

In Defense

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – A lawyer for an Oklahoma oral surgeon accused of using improper sterilization procedures and rusty surgical tools that may have exposed patients to HIV and hepatitis said on Wednesday his client had an impeccable record and provided dedicated care.

The attorney for Dr. Scott Harrington did not address the specific allegations of improper care that have been lodged by state regulators. Instead, Tulsa lawyer James Secrest II issued a statement that defended Harrington’s professional history.

“For almost 35 years, Dr. Harrington has provided Oklahoman with dedicated oral surgical care,” the statement said. “His previous record with the dental board is impeccable.”

It continued: “He is taking the recent allegations very seriously and is fully cooperating with the Oklahoma Dental Board. At this time, out of respect for his patients and the sensitivity of the issues, Dr. Harrington will make no further comment on this matter.”

Health authorities are contacting 7,000 of Harrington’s patients by mail to recommend they have their blood drawn so it can be screened for hepatitis and HIV.

Source & Read-more: Yahoo

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