ST LOUIS (LALATE) – A dentist HIV risk scandal is prompting thousands of patient alerts today by health officials. Dentist Stephen Stein may have put thousand of patients at risk of HIV by engaging in “unsafe injection practices” with needles over a roughly twelve year policy, officials claim.
In a news statement today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed that as many as eight thousand of Stein’s patients have received an alert to immediately get tested for HIV. Officials state that the purported concern stems from work done between September 1999 and June 2011. Stein reportedly owned two Denver facilities during that time and treated upwards of eight thousand patients.
But now officials are concerned that some of those patient may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis infection. The concern grew from a recent investigation in which health officials determined that Stein allegedly conducted practice with reused needles and syringes. They claim this conduct occurred during surgeries and implant procedures especially.
Jan Stapleman, a department spokeswoman, is telling news that patients are being alerted in a letter to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Officials are still unsure why Stein engaged in such conduct. But they confirm that syringes cost a mere $1. And yet “This practice has been shown to transmit infections.”
Officials believe that the most likely victim were patients who underwent an injection especially sedation. “Syringes and needles were re-used for multiple patients to give intravenous medications, including sedation” the warning letter said. Instruments were âused repeatedly, often days at a time.â