Dental patient says she tested for Hep C

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Updated: 4/02/2013 9:12 am Published: 4/01/2013 9:41 pm

A former patient of Dr. Scott Harrington’s says she has Hepatitis C.

She did not want to be identified but says she saw Dr. Harrington in the last year. In her hand, she had results from a blood test from her private doctor that showed she tested positive for Hepatitis C.

The Tulsa Health Department says they will launch an investigation for every positive result from the dental investigation. However, all risk factors will be considered not just surgeries at Dr. Harrington’s office.

The latest in the Dr. Scott Harrington investigation has nearly 1,000 former patients' blood tested for Hepatitis B and C and HIV since Saturday at the Tulsa Health Department.

There have been more than 1,500 calls to the THD hotline.

The Board of Dentistry says Harrington handed over his license two weeks ago after one of his patients tested positive for Hepatitis C and originally for HIV, that patient later tested negative for HIV.

Investigators say they found dirty equipment, contaminated needles and vials and nurses giving IVs and anesthesia without licenses.

Other former patients of Doctor Harrington's say they are doing their own compliance checks.

The last time Tamara Carrott saw Dr. Harrington she was getting her wisdom teeth pulled.

“I had my wisdom teeth pulled over 30 years ago and Dr. Harrington took them out,” said Carrot.

The Health Department doesn’t know how far the alleged unsanitary practices went on in Harrington’s surgery room but Ms. Carrott is not worried.

“I give blood every three or four months. They are going to test you for anything, they are not going to let you donate blood if you have any problems,” said Carrot.

Another former patient who went to the Health Department says she is six months pregnant.

“The fact that I have to deal with this at all. Possibly infecting my baby is what is so worrisome,” said Grace.

While the THD reports transmitting these infectious materials in a dental office is rare, Grace wants to protect her baby.

“I know it’s a very low chance that I have anything but that point zero, zero one percent chance is a chance I don’t want to take and I don’t even want to think my infant having it,” said Grace.

Another patient who did not want to be identified showed FOX23 News her anesthesia release form from Dr. Harrington’s office from 2009.

The Board also says investigators found drug logs were not properly kept at the office.

Ms. Carrott who works for a dental supply company is in disbelief over the Board of Dentistry’s findings.

“It makes you question Oklahoma’s rules why are we not checking on dentists?” said Carrott.

The Board of Dentistry says because of case overload dental officers are checked when there’s a complaint. The Board says Harrington never received a violation or complaint in the 36 years he was practicing dentistry.

However, records show he hadn’t sent in sterilization checks in six years. The company requires them every month.

"You trust, you trust everybody that you go to especially in the medical community,” said Carrott.

With a dentist appoint on Wednesday Carrott says she will be asking for logs.

“Now, I’ll be in on my dentist on Wednesday, look out I am going to be looking at your records,” said Carrott.

Other former patients are also going to do their own compliance checks.

“I am going to make sure they are opening up a clean instrument for me,” said Grace.

The Executive Director for the Board of Dentistry met with the Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris on Monday but no charges have been filed against Scott Harrington.

Harrington has a hearing in front of the Board of Dentistry on April 19th.

Harrington was tracked down at another home in Phoenix but he wouldn’t not comment.

The Tulsa health Department reports former patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington’s dental practice should contact the hotline 918-595-4500 to speak to a public health representative about testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. English and Spanish speaking public health representatives are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. 

All patients are encouraged to be tested at the Tulsa Health Department.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

jhawk - 4/2/2013 12:26 AM
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Can you advise Dr Harringtons Owasso address, and when it closed, as it's no longer in the Owasso telephone directory. thanks much
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