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Dental Clinic May Have Exposed Patients to HIV

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By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS
Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma agency that accused a Tulsa oral surgeon of unsanitary practices that put thousands of people at risk for hepatitis and HIV says it's never needed to inspect medical offices regularly.

Like some other states, Oklahoma does inspections only if it receives a complaint.

That's what happened in the case of Dr. W. Scott Harrington. His practice was inspected after officials determined a patient may have contracted hepatitis C while having dental surgery.

States note that they don't have the money for routine inspections and such incidents are rare.

Oklahoma health officials sent letters Friday to all 7,000 patients they found in Harrington's 6-year-old records. The letters urge patients to be screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

ORIGINAL STORY

TULSA Okla_ Thousands of patients who received care from a Tulsa dentist got an urgent call Friday. They may have been exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Investigators say patients may also have been exposed to Hepatitis "B" and "C". The dentist in question is W. Scott Harrington. The Oklahoma and Tulsa Health Departments say they found "major violations" of the state's dental act at his clinics.

Letters are now going out to as many as 7,000 patients at Harrington's Clinics in Tulsa and suburban Owasso telling them to get tested.

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