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March 29, 2013

Tulsa dentist’s clinic put thousands of patients at risk of infection, called a ‘menace’ to public health

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TULSA —

Susan Rogers, executive director of the state Dentistry Board, said that as an oral surgeon Harrington regularly did invasive procedures involving “pulling teeth, open wounds, open blood vessels.” The board’s complaint also noted Harrington and his staff told investigators a “high population of known infectious disease carrier patients” received dental care from him.

Despite the high-risk clientele, a device used to sterilize instruments wasn’t being properly used and hadn’t been tested in six years, the board complaint said. Tests are required monthly.

Also, a drug vial found at a clinic this year had an expiration date of 1993 and one assistant’s drug log said morphine had been used in the clinic last year despite its not receiving any morphine shipments since 2009.

Officials said patients will be offered free medical testing at the Tulsa Health Department’s North Regional Health and Wellness Center.

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Associated Press reporter Jeannie Nuss in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.

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