Concerned Dental Patients Prepare For HIV, Hepatitis Tests
By Caitlin Alexander
About 7,000 Oklahomans are waiting to find out if they were exposed to HIV or Hepatitis B and C at their dentist's office.State health officials announced Thursday that patients of Dr. Scott Harrington should be tested for the diseases after an investigation revealed unsafe practices at Harrington's Tulsa-based office."It's very frightening," said Kandyce Shrum, 21.She heard the news Thursday and went to the emergency room to get tested. She said staff members told her to wait to go to the Health Department's free screenings Saturday.The Health Department's North Regional Health and Wellness Center at 5365 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd is the location for the free screenings. It will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It will be closed Easter Sunday and re-open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.The standard turn-around time for the results is two to three weeks, said Kaitlin Snider with the Tulsa Health Department."There will mostly likely be a line, especially for tomorrow," said Kaitlin Snider with the Tulsa Health Department.She said transmission of these diseases through dental clinics is rare but wants to be sure patients are tested as a precaution.Several patients have already said they plan to pursue legal action if they test positive.Patients of Dr. Harrington, regardless of when they were treated, are encouraged to call a Health Department hotline at 918-595-4500 for more information.
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