HIV test urged for 7,000 Oklahoma dental patients

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...ass&action=4&lang=en&_LT=UNLC_NKNWU00L4_UNEWS

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Health officials on Thursday urged an Oklahoma oral surgeon's patients to undergo hepatitis and HIV testing, saying filthy conditions behind his office's spiffy facade posed a threat to his 7,000 clients and made him a "menace to the public health."

    State and county health inspectors went to Dr. W. Scott Harrington's practice after a patient with no known risk factors tested positive for both hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS. They found employees using dirty equipment, reusing needles and administering drugs without a license.

    Harrington voluntarily gave up his license and closed his offices in Tulsa and suburban Owasso and is cooperating with investigators, said Kaitlin Snider, a spokeswoman for the Tulsa Health Department. He faces a hearing April 19 where his license could be permanently revoked.............

    Officials are sending letters to 7,000 people who are known to have been patients of Harrington, but they noted that they do not have information for patients before 2007. The letters urge the patients to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. — viruses typically spread through intravenous drug use or unprotected sexual contact, not occupational settings.

    "It's uncertain how long those practices have been in place," Snider said. "He's been practicing for 36 years."

    More at link.....
     
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  3. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    OMG!

    OH my heart goes out to those 7000 people who get this letter. Can you imagine the fear? And I don't understand how health inspectors can say they don't know how long these conditions have existed. Aren't medical, dental and healthcare facilities heavily regulated as far as that sort of thing is concerned???


    How does this escape attention for that long?
     
  4. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    So, no charges against him of any kind? I hope no kids were sent to him by Medicaid for wisdom teeth removal. There seems to be a trend of removing them much earlier if they look crooked on xrays.
     
  5. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't there be criminal charges? Infecting someone with HIV and hepatitis C is at the very least negligent.
     
  6. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Just read the article over again and nothing is mentioned about criminal charges....yet...I suppose those that find out they got sick from his office can sue him.
     
  7. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    I guess dental facilities are not expected unless someone complains, considering he has been in practice for 36 years and sounds like he only got inspected after a patient tested positive for HIV and hepatitis C.
     
  8. CHERIE.T

    CHERIE.T Former Member

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    Alarming
     
  9. Wise Old Owl

    Wise Old Owl Retired WS Staff & Founding member of AFKBPOFPOPL

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    ITA tl - but here's my question.

    7000 - Seven thousand - THOUSAND! How does ONE dentist see THAT many patients?
    That's a whole lotta novacane. Even if he worked 7 days a week - 7000? Really?

    Was he THAT popular a dentist?

    IDK - just seems like a whole lot of patients - 7000!!!

    Hope they are all ok. I can't imagine getting a letter like that in the mail. Scary......




    JMHO
     
  10. Redbird

    Redbird New Member

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    I am pretty sure this dentist extracted nearly all my teeth in 2001. If he is the dentist I used, he was at a different address than he is now. I am trying to find any old addresses he may have but so far have had no luck. They tell patients before 2005 to contact the health department. I suppose I should. HIV can lay dormant for a long time. To answer questions about the large number of patients he had. He is one of the only oral surgeons in town that accepts all insurance for people going through the process of getting false teeth. Seven thousand still seems like a lot of people.
     
  11. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    I wonder if he was doing other dentistry ( like root canals and implants) or just removals and gum disease surgery. People who worked for him and knew should have been reporting him.
     
  12. MissJ

    MissJ New Member

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    OMG. So frightening.
     
  13. Elley Mae

    Elley Mae The enemy is here. beware

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  14. Redbird

    Redbird New Member

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    I'm pretty sure he was only doing extractions.
     
  15. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I am blown away this could happen in this day and age. I'm amazed not one employee reported the dangerous condition. How does one find employees who are all willing to look the other way?

    I hope the dentist and all of his employee's current and former all do time and a LOT of time!

    Prayers for all whose lives were endangered because of this dentists choices. :furious:

    I'm awaiting news on criminal charges.
     
  16. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    Other dentists may also have known this guy had problems from word of mouth.
     
  17. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Okla. board pushes for charges against dentist

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read.php?id=19411643&ps=1011&cat=&cps=0&lang=en

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Citing the scope of a public health scare involving thousands of patients of an Oklahoma oral surgeon, the head of the state's dentistry board said Monday she wants prosecutors to consider pursuing criminal charges.............

    Susan Rogers, the executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, told The Associated Press that she talked with Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris on Monday to discuss whether Harrington is criminally liable.............

    Harrington and his staff could face at least two felony charges, Rogers said, including practicing dentistry without a license and aiding or abetting another person who is violating the state's dental act. Rogers said each possible charge could carry a prison term of up to four years and a $10,000 fine.

    "I did speak to the DA this morning and I've talked to other officials, and I can't comment on those conversations, but there's more to come," Rogers said...........

    "We are here for the long haul," Snider said. "We know we can't screen 7,000 patients in a day or even in a week."

    Those who have been tested should receive their results within two weeks, she added..............

    Court records show that Harrington was sued for medical malpractice in 1994, and the case was settled in 1995. He also was sued for negligence in 1997, which was settled out of court in the same year.

    More at link....
     
  18. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Dozens of Tulsa doctor's patients test positive for hepatitis, HIV (Daily Oklahoman)
     
  19. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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