Dr. Scott Harrington, a Tulsa oral surgeon is accused of using improper sterilization techniques that may have exposed his patients to blood-borne viruses.
Health officials so far have screened 3,122 people who underwent oral surgery procedures at clinics at a Oklahoma oral surgery practice. The practice is now closed due to health concerns. Blood tests conducted on patients show that 57 have Hepatitis C, three have Hepatitis B and as many as three have HIV, the virus than can lead to AIDS.
Each patient will have their blood tested and that will take the total of people involved to a total of 7,000.
“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.
Harrington’s attorney stated that 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control there has been only three confirmed cases in the United States of viruses being transmitted during dental procedures.