Australian health authorities fear that some 11,000 dental patients may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis due to poor sterilization equipment and infection control in clinics in Sydney.
Hygiene Breach Puts 11,000 dental patients in HIV and hepatitis risk in Australia
New South Wales Health said 12 dentists four surgeries were accused of malpractice cleaning and sterilization equipment and advises patients to get blood tests for HIV and hepatitis A, B and C as precautionary measure.
While the NSW Health Director of Health Protection Jeremy McAnulty said no case had been found so far and the risk of transmission is low, there was concern about people who had undergone invasive procedures.
“It is important to emphasize that we have no evidence of infection at this point, that there has been no transmission,” he said. “However, experts have been concerned in the light of reports of problems with infection control in these facilities, that risk is there. We hope that there will be transmissions and the risk is thought to be low but it is better for people to know their status because there are treatments available for infections. ”
The concern is that the instruments may not have been properly cleaned and sterilized, with the risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases in the gums.
The scare was triggered by a complaint about one of the practices in November last year and subsequent investigations revealed “significant” security breaches at the clinic and others, Shane Council fryer Dentistry of New South Wales said.
“The audits showed that there were some problems with cleanliness, sterilization and storage of instruments that is not being done in compliance with the guidelines of the dental plaque of Australia,” he said.
“I want to assure the public that there are strict guidelines in place regarding infection control, that dentists must meet.”
“Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action and possible deregistration action.”
So far six dentists have been suspended and another six have had conditions imposed on their licenses.
One of the suspended Robert Starkenburg, admitted to the Daily Telegraph of Sydney had been “behind the times” but said that it had adopted new protocols and are being investigated.
“Do not infect my patients, but did not have a spotless office as new types,” he said 75-year-old. “But I’m spikko now.”
He also accused NSW Health of holding a “people’s court” against him, the Telegraph
Source :. AFP
This article was originally published on medindia.net
Posted in: health news