Courtesy of ABC News
The Tulsa Health Department is warning 7,000 patients of a local dentist’s office that they could have contracted HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C from poor sterilization practices.
Dr. Wayne Harrington, an oral surgeon with a practice in Tulsa, Okla., is being investigated by the state dental board, the state bureau of narcotics and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency because one of his patients recently tested positive for hepatitis C and HIV without known risk factors other than receiving dental treatment.
Upon hearing of the infected patient, the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry conducted a surprise inspection of Harrington’s practice on March 18, allegedly finding numerous problems, including regular use of a rusty set of instruments on patients with known infections, and the practice of pouring bleach on wounds until they “turned white.”
Calls to Harrington’s office were directed to an operator, who told ABC News the clinic no longer took voicemails. The operator said patients were being referred to another clinic, but did not disclose the clinic’s name.
Susan Rogers, executive director of Oklahoma’s Board of Dentistry, called the incident a “perfect storm.” On top of his many violations in sanitary practice, the dentist was a Medicaid provider, which means he had a high proportion of patients with HIV or hepatitis, she said.