Written by Dentistry Today Friday, 27 July 2012 14:47
A Colorado dentist put thousands of people at risk by reusing syringes. There could be many people susceptible to HIV and hepatitis as a result.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent letters to around 8,000 patients about the situation regarding dentist Stephen Stein. The letter recommended they seek tests for the diseases after finding out Stein reused syringes at his two Denver-based clinics from September 1999 through June 2011.
Stein violated standard medical protocol by reusing needles and syringes in many patients’ intravenous lines at his oral surgery and dental clinics.
In the letters sent to patients treated by Stein, the health department warned of possibly contracting HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Stein’s records weren’t complete, so it’s conceivable even more people were affected.
Patients who received any type of injection are at risk, according to authorities.
Stein’s license to practice dentistry in Colorado was previously suspended for an unrelated reason, according to the Department of Regulatory Agencies. The reason for the suspension is confidential until the probe into the matter concludes.
Stein was targeted in a criminal investigation involving possible prescription fraud prior to these allegations coming to light. There are no criminal charges as of now.