A Tulsa oral surgeon found to have possibly
exposed up to 5,000 patients to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C may be
permanently barred from practicing as of Friday.
An agenda item for
the regular meeting of the Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry states
“discussion and possible action to accept permanent surrender of license
and agreed order” in the case against Dr. W. Scott Harrington. The
meeting is at 9 a.m. Friday in Oklahoma City.
In September last year, genetic testing confirmed that at least one
patient contracted hepatitis C from a visit to Harrington’s office. It
was the first documented report of patient-to-patient transmission of
hepatitis C in a dental setting in the United States.
Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa-area man whose hepatitis C diagnosis led Oklahoma
to close two dental clinics and suggest AIDS testing for 7,000 patients
last year says his illness has left him depressed, embarrassed and
worried about his future.
The patient — identified as “G. Rains” in court records — has sued Dr. W. Scott Harrington,
claiming the dentist deliberately used rusty instruments and re-used
contaminated drug vials that led to Rains’ infection. According to
health officials and court records, Rains is the first confirmed patient
in the U.S. to contract hepatitis C from another patient in a dental
office. Health officials shut down Harrington’s practices last year, and
the investigation into the clinics continues.
Rains declined an in-person interview with The Associated Press but agreed to answer questions submitted through his lawyer, Mark Lyons.
A year after a Tulsa oral surgeon was found to have possibly
exposed as many as 5,000 patients to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C,
he still has yet to appear before the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry.
One year ago this week, officials with the state and local health
departments announced they had found unsanitary conditions at Dr. W.
Scott Harrington’s office at 2111 S. Atlanta Place, including rusted
instruments, improper sterilization procedures and a lack of infection
In the ensuing weeks,
more than 4,200 people were tested at free clinics by local health
departments, and 89 tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B
and four for HIV.