A Multnomah County dental clinic says up to 18 instrument packets were improperly sterilized last month and may have exposed patients to HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B.
Up to 18 of the 524 patients treated at Southeast Dental Clinic in the 2600 block of Southeast 34th Avenue between May 11 and May 24 may have been exposed, the Multnomah County Health Department said.
Len Barozzini, the clinic’s dental director, said the risk of exposure is minimal, but clinic staff want to “do everything we can to inform our patients fully and assure their care.”
The possible contamination was discovered June 5 by a health department manager running an internal infection control check, according to health officials. The manager discovered a missing step in the sterilization documentation for the instruments.
“We sincerely apologize to each and every patient affected and to their families,” Barozzini said.
Clients who visited the Baby Day Dental Clinic have no risk of infection, because no dental instruments are used with kids under the age of 3, the health department said.
Multnomah County is providing free tests for HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They say the instruments in question are not likely to have been used in procedures typically known to transmit infections. They confirm that the risk of disease transmission to patients is very low.
The county posted additional information about the incident to their website.
They also have a toll-free answer line at 877-889-0888 and said patients may contact staff at SEDental.email@example.com.
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