Dozens of Oklahoma dentist’s patients test positive for hepatitis

By Steve Olafson

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – Blood tests conducted on patients treated at an Oklahoma oral surgery practice that has been closed over health concerns show that 57 have hepatitis C, three have hepatitis B and as many as three have HIV, the virus than can lead to AIDS, officials said on Thursday.


Health officials said it will take more investigation – including interviews with each patient and blood tests of the remaining patients – before they can determine whether the viruses were contracted at the dental offices, an extremely rare occurrence.

“Now the real disease detective work goes into effect,” state health department spokeswoman Leslea Bennet-Webb said.

Officials cannot be more specific about the number of patients who tested positive for HIV because of the state’s confidentiality policy that restricts public disclosure of HIV cases involving fewer than three people, Bennet-Webb said.

Health officials so far have screened 3,122 people who underwent oral surgery procedures at clinics operated by Dr Scott Harrington, a Tulsa oral surgeon who is accused of using improper sterilization techniques that may have exposed his patients to blood-borne viruses.

Harrington agreed to close his Tulsa practice and a nearby satellite clinic last month. Health officials want 7,000 of his patients to have their blood tested.

Harrington’s attorney has said his client has an impeccable record with the state dentistry board, which has filed a 17-count complaint against the oral surgeon that accuses him of being a “menace to the public health” because of his unsanitary procedures.

There are only three known cases in the United States of viruses being transmitted during dental procedures, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta
Cancer Defeated Publications - Natural Cancer Remedies

Recommended For You

Seniors’ Obesity-Counseling Benefit Goes Largely Unused

Three years ago, the Obama administration offered hope to millions of overweight seniors when it announced Medicare would offer free weight-loss counseling. Officials estimated that about 30 percent of seniors are obese and therefore eligible for counseling services, which studies have shown improve the odds of significant weight loss. But less than 1 percent of […]

How to Control Your Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic (met-ah-BOL-ik) syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. The term “metabolic” refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body’s normal functioning. Risk factors are traits, conditions, or habits that increase your chance of developing […]

Mitral valve repair after heart attack offers patients little benefit

By Marissa A. Miller Patients treated with both procedures versus the bypass graft alone showed no differences at one year in recovery from structural damage to the heart’s left ventricle, nor in secondary measures such as heart failure, stroke, functional status or quality of life. The results of the Surgical Interventions for Moderate Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation […]

Losartan may be an effective treatment option for Marfan syndrome

Between 70 and 80 percent of patients with the connective tissue condition Marfan syndrome have aortic-root dilation, which happens when the aorta, the main blood vessel between the heart and body, becomes too large and tears. This condition can result in serious illness and sometimes death. A National Institutes of Health-funded study comparing treatment with […]

Leave a Reply