Former patients of Okla. dentist line up for testing
By Shelby Lin
(CNN) TULSA, Okla.– Hundreds of patients treated by a Tulsa dentist began lining up Saturday to get tested for HIV and hepatitis.
State investigators found what they called horrific conditions in his office. They worry he may have exposed thousands of patients to unsanitary practices.
It’s a nightmare she never expected.
“If I get sick, I could be sick for a long time. It just freaks me out a little knowing that this could kill me,” said Marissa Smith, a former patient.
A few hundred Oklahoma dental patients like Smith lined up to be tested on Saturday. An investigation found unsanitary conditions at Tulsa dentist W. Scott Harrington’s office
A mother and her son, who asked not to be identified, said he had his wisdom teeth removed by Harrington last year.
“I’m scared, I am scared. I spent, up all night last night. Now we just have to sit and wait, and that part’s going to be the hardest part, it’s the waiting, the mother said.
The boy described a horrific experience that he said landed him in the hospital.
“I was just like bleeding, profusely, and it wouldn’t stop. It was just gushing and just pouring out of my mouth,” the boy said.
Now the horror continues for him and thousands of other patients, like Colton Scott.
“That’s the last thing in the world that you’re going to think, going into getting your wisdom teeth out, that you’re going to get HIV or hepatitis,” Scott said.
No criminal charges have been filed against Harrington. He and his lawyer have not returned numerous calls for a comment.
“How do you say you’re sorry to seven thousand people that you could have possibly infected?,” said Melissa Wood, the mother of a patient.
Screenings will operate 10 hours a day beginning Monday. But patients still have to wait two to three weeks for the test results. Results that could potentially change their lives.
Harrington’s practice was inspected after officials determined a patient may have contracted hepatitis C while having dental surgery.