About 1 200 patients have been screened for exposure to HIV and hepatitis in
Oklahoma after authorities found a Tulsa dentist using improper sterilisation
procedures and rusty surgical tools, a public health official said.
More than 6 000 patients have yet to be tested and officials have not located
all the exposed patients, said Kaitlin Snider, spokeswoman for the Tulsa Health
Testing is free and patients should get results in two weeks. Dr Scott
Harrington practiced in Tulsa for 35 years before he surrendered his
Harrington's oral surgery came under scrutiny last month after one of his
patients tested positive for Hepatitis C, a contagious liver disease transmitted
through contact with the blood of an infected person.
After concluding the patient had no typical risk factors, state investigators
visited Harrington's office and found multiple health and safety violations that
created cross-contamination and sterilisation risks, according the
administrative complaint filed against him by the state dentistry board.
Harrington's attorney was not immediately available to comment.
Drug vials and needles were used multiple times on different patients and
instruments set aside for disease carriers appeared to be rusty, according to
Harrington's practice served a large number of infectious disease carriers,
according to the complaint against him.
Harrington, who delegated many of his duties to two assistants, is accused of
17 violations of Oklahoma dental regulations, including eight counts of "being a
menace to the public health" by practicing unsafe and unsanitary dentistry.
The harshest sanction the dental board can levy is revocation of his
The Tulsa County District Attorney's office has not said whether it will file
criminal charges against Harrington.