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Dentist accused of not following standard sterilization practices

Posted on Sep 23, 2013

Dr. W. Scott Harrington, an Oklahoma dentist, is accused of spreading hepatitis and HIV through poor sterilization practices. Apparently, he has been reusing needles and rusty equipment that was not properly cleaned. Because he didn’t follow the rules for sterilizing equipment, at least more than 90 people have tested positive for hepatitis or HIV after visiting him.

According to ABC News, Oklahoma health officials encouraged 7,000 of his patients to submit to testing. Of the 4,202 who did so, 89 tested for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B and four for the virus that causes AIDS.

Following correct sterilization procedures, not using rusted equipment, and not reusing needles for multiple patients is a basic patient safety rule that should never be violated. Think about how shocking it must have been to find out that you became HIV positive after visiting the dentist. And that the injury was preventable. A simple decision not to clean medical equipment could cause you a lifetime of worry, pain, and treatment.

That is why we constantly try to inform people and educate patients that these things happen. People who are supposed to be taking care of you, like dentists, doctors, and nurses, could end up severely hurting you or a family member. If you’re suspicious, always ask questions. Never think that this could not happen to you.

If you are severely injured and suspect that a medical provider or hospital caused your injury, call us now at (202) 393-3320.

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