This week Colorado health officials continue their efforts to contact some 8,000 patients who may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis infection through their dental procedures.
Stephen Stein’s license to practice dentistry in Colorado was already suspended for an unrelated matter, according to Cory Everett-Lozano, spokeswoman for the state Department of Regulatory Agencies. Now the dentist is under fire for allegedly reusing syringes and needles on his patients.
On Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent letters to 8,000 of Stein’s former patients, urging them to seek tests for the diseases after learning of “unsafe injection practices” at two Denver-area clinics he owned between September 1999 and June 2011.
As of Monday, no infections had been reported.
According to a statement released by Colorado health officials, the scare unfolded after investigators discovered that Stein reused needles and syringes in several patients’ intravenous lines at his oral surgery and dental implant practices. Both are frightening violations of standard medical protocol.
Jan Stapleman, a health department spokeswoman, said there could have been additional patients exposed who have not yet been identified because Stein’s records were incomplete.
Stein’s lawyer, Victoria Lovato, said her client “is cooperating with the state’s investigation.”
If you have questions about HIV in Huntsville, contact the AIDS Action Coalition. Questions about hepatitis can be directed to the Center for Colon & Digestive Disease.