Dozens of Dental Patients in Oklahoma Test Positive for HIV or Hepatitis C

May 24, 2014
by Adler Markoff & Associates

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    Dozens of Dental Patients in Oklahoma Test Positive for HIV or Hepatitis C

    At least 60 patients treated by a dentist in Oklahoma have tested positive for either HIV or Hepatitis C, according to Tulsa health officials. Dr. W. Scott Harrington is the Tulsa dentist that allegedly exposed as many as 7,000 dental patients to Hepatitis C and HIV because of serious health and safety violations at his practice. According to a recent report issued by the Tulsa Health Department (THD) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), 57 former patients of Harrington have tested positive for Hepatitis C, three have tested positive for Hepatitis B, and either one or two patients have tested positive for HIV. If you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence in Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in Oklahoma, contact our reputable attorneys at AMA Law today.


    Following a surprise inspection by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry on March 18, Harrington was charged with 17 health and safety violations and shut down his dental practice. According to investigators, they made a number of alarming findings during the inspection, including rusted surgical instruments that could not be properly cleaned, long-expired drugs in stock, unlicensed assistants practicing oral surgery, and the re-use of needles on dental patients. In light of these disturbing findings that may have put the health and safety of thousands of Oklahoma dental patients at risk, Harrington could face criminal charges.


    After a March 28 warning indicating that 7,000 patients treated by Harrington over the years may have been exposed to a blood-borne virus due to unsanitary conditions, former patients of Harrington were tested for both HIV and Hepatitis C. According to a recent update, 3,235 patients have been tested at county health departments and an unknown number have been tested privately. State health officials have noted that the results of the testing do not mean that all of the HIV and Hepatitis C infections occurred because of the actions of Dr. Harrington or his staff.


    “We understand these first reported test results may be of concern,” said THD Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “Thorough investigations are routinely conducted upon notification of a positive report for these infections.” If you have been diagnosed with a serious disease, or if you have suffered a major side effect, that you believe to be the result of medical negligence or malpractice in Oklahoma, consult our knowledgeable lawyers at AMA Law for legal help. You may have grounds to file a malpractice lawsuit against the allegedly negligent doctor or hospital, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.

    Request a free consultation

    (405) 607-8757