State advises 8,000 dental patients to be tested for hepatitis, HIV

By: July 24th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

An investigation by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicates that as many as 8,000 dental patients may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens from unsafe injection practices.

“Unsafe re-use of syringes and needles occurred at the offices of Dr. Stephen M. Stein, an oral surgeon, between September 1999 and June 2011. Syringes and needles were re-used on multiple patients to give intravenous (IV) medications, including sedation,” according to a state health department letter to patients.

“The unsafe practices occurred at the following office locations:

  • Between September 1999 and June 2011 at Stein Oral and Facial Surgery, 8671 South Quebec Street, #230, Highlands Ranch, CO 80130.
  • Between August 2010 and June 2011 at Stein Oral and Facial Surgery, 3737 East 1st Avenue, Suite B, Denver, CO 80206. Patients were also seen at this location by Dr. Stein under the name New Image Dental Implant Center.”

The letter includes instructions to the healthcare providers of potentially exposed patients to test for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

The Colorado Board of Dental Examiners suspended Stein’s license June 2011, but that was for reasons other than the unsafe injection practices discovered as as result of the investigation, according to The Denver Post, July 14.

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This is so wrong!!! We are not still living in the 60’s??? Needles are not that expensive! This will cost more!! We should not have to ask if the staff is reusing needles or is that from a multidose vial that has been stuck with a used needle. The staff never questioned this?? We are suppose to be advocates for the patients!

Really, suspended? What more egregious violations of all that is moral and ethical in healthcare could he have possibly committed than this lethal and archaic practice. Even in the 60’s when needles were resharpened, resterilized and reused, they were STERILIZED between uses!

The Colorado Board of Dental Examiners should be ashamed of themselves for not taking firm stand and revoking this man’s license to practice medicine. Obviously nurses are better patient advocates than even the body regulating dental care in Colorado.

By Robin meinberg on August 1st, 2012 at 9:56 am

All the staff that knowingly “participated” in this disgusting practice should lose their licenses as well (if they even have any).

It seems these types of issues keep popping up over and over again even after all the news coverage and new laws that have been put into place and just the fact that it is just so irresponsible and unethical, it blows my mind everytime I read another article on this subject.
How does this keep happening over and over again? I just don’t understand this at all. Are people this stupid or cheap or what?
Come on healthcare workers – get it together. We are suppose to be doing our jobs for the patient’s care and safety and to those HCW’s who sat back and either watched without intervening or participated themselves, SHAME ON YOU!!!!
I hope this is the last article I read on this subject but regretfully I know it probably won’t be.
Maybe we need more stringent laws or something? Surprise inspections? whistleblowers? I’m not sure what the answer is but I hope to God it never happens to me or my loved ones due to someones neglectful negligence.


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