An oral surgeon in Oklahoma City whose filthy clinic conditions purportedly exposed patients to HIV and several strains of Hepatitis has finally surrendered his license to practice.
Dental surgeon Scott Harrington’s practices were closed in March after apparently causing dozens of patients to contract diseases from his facilities.
Authorities say that of his four thousand some patients, 89 have thus far contracted such diseases as Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This is the first known case of a dentist giving a patient Hepatitis C.
When state health inspectors finally came to investigate clinics operated by Harrington, 66, they found rusty instruments, contaminated drug vials, expired drugs, filthy conditions, and inoperable sterilization equipment.
Harrington’s lawyer said that the investigation was weighing heavily on his client and noted that he is cooperating.
“This guy spent over 30 years in a career, and he’s just watching it go away in a matter of hours,” attorney James Secrest II said. “His career has been ruined in Tulsa.”
One of Harrington’s early victims said he got life-threatening and contagious Hepatitis C after having a tooth removed by the surgeon. The patient found out about his condition after attempting to give blood when his donation was refused after the hospital tested his blood for the disease. Hep C is a disease of the liver that is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person.
This month the Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry met to consider Harrington’s case. He did not appear during the hearing.
A 17-count complaint filed by the state of Oklahoma called Harrington a “menace to the public health.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.