Written by Dentistry Today Monday, 30 September 2013 15:08
Never before had there been an outbreak of hepatitis C among dental patients. But that was prior to a Tulsa, Okla. dentist using rusty equipment and dirty needles in his practice.
Dr. W. Scott Harrington’s practice was shut down in March after a surprise inspection showed that there were major problems in his sterilization processes. Since then, at least 89 of his patients have tested positive for hepatitis C.
Harrington allegedly reused needles, something that can clearly contaminate drugs with disease-causing pathogens. He maintained a separate set of tools for patients that he knew carried an infectious disease, based on the information ascertained by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. The tools had clear signs of red-brown rust spots, showing that it wasn’t possible to properly sterilize them.