Health Department Wraps Up Testing for Harrington Patients; Questions Continue
By Caitlin Alexander
The Health Department concluded its free HIV and Hepatitis testing services for patients of Dr. Harrington Friday."We've seen a huge decrease in numbers of people coming, so it makes sense to end the clinical portion of this response," said Tulsa Health Department Director Bruce Dart. However, he said the Health Department's investigation of the case will continue.As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, a state lab had processed 4,087 test results. There are 77 Hepatitis C positives, five Hepatitis B positives, and four HIV positives. None of the results can be conclusively linked to Dr. Harrington's practice.The free testing has run for about three months. The Health Department had sent letters to thousands of patients possibly exposed to the illnesses, following an investigation that led to questions regarding cleanliness at Harrington's clinics.Channel 8 knocked on the doors of Harrington's Tulsa office and home. A dog barked at Harrington's residence, which leads to possible questions of whether or not Harrington is back in town.There have been several lawsuits filed against the oral surgeon.Former patient Dillon Waters had a procedure done at Harrington's clinic in February of this year. He shared his story with Channel 8 when news of the investigation broke. He has since tested negative for HIV and Hepatitis.Still, Waters said Friday, "If there's a class action lawsuit or anything along those lines, I definitely want to get in on that. I mean, I had gone to him, trusting him, that everything would be fine, and ended up having to deal with this for months and having to wait, and having that feeling of insecurity when you go to a doctor and you want to feel secure."As of 5:45 Friday evening, Dr. Harrington's lawyer had not responded to Channel 8's request for comment.The Health Department encourages patients who have received treatment at Harrington's practices between Sept. 12, 2012 and March 20, 2013 to be tested again after six months. There is a possibility test results might not appear before that time. Those tests will be free of charge.
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