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Patients Possibly Exposed To Disease By Tulsa Dentist Rush To Be Tested

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Not content to wait for health department testing this weekend, Nathan Taylor was on his way to his doctor when he had a flat tire. But, a blowout was the least of his concerns. Not content to wait for health department testing this weekend, Nathan Taylor was on his way to his doctor when he had a flat tire. But, a blowout was the least of his concerns.
Health workers started looking in Harrington's practice, after a patient tested positive for Hepatitis C, not long after having oral surgery. Health workers started looking in Harrington's practice, after a patient tested positive for Hepatitis C, not long after having oral surgery.
Radonna Jackson said her son had a root canal done by Harrington, last November. Radonna Jackson said her son had a root canal done by Harrington, last November.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Health Department will begin testing, Friday, as many as 7,000 dental patients who may have been exposed to Hepatitis and HIV.

The patients have all visited the offices of Dr. Scott Harrington, at some point since 2007.

Health workers started looking in Harrington's practice, after a patient tested positive for Hepatitis C, not long after having oral surgery.

Investigators say there are many things that have led them to issuing this broad warning for patients, from cross-contamination of medications to dirty instruments, and even to having other people in the office perform procedures that only he is allowed by law to do.

"We find out something every single day that just adds to this particular case," said Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry Executive Director Susan Rogers.

Harrington voluntarily surrendered his license last week.

3/28/2013 Related Story: State Board Says Tulsa Dentist's Practice Was Unsafe, Unsanitary

Even though it's rare for infections to spread in occupational settings, Harrington's dental patients and their loved ones are very worried.

Not content to wait for health department testing this weekend, Nathan Taylor was on his way to his doctor when he had a flat tire. But, a blowout was the least of his concerns.

"God forbid, if something ever happens, it jeopardizes the entire rest of my life," Taylor said.

Taylor is one of 7,000 patients of Harrington's who are being urged to be tested to make sure they weren't exposed to hepatitis and HIV.

"That's an awful high number. That's a lot," Taylor said.

Taylor had his wisdom teeth taken out by Dr. Harrington, who faces complaints including lack of proper sterilization of equipment.

Radonna Jackson said her son had a root canal done at the clinic, last November.

"I'm worried. I'm scared to death," Jackson said.

She is a registered nurse, so from both a professional and personal standpoint, she's angered that a medical professional could have put so many people at risk.

"I'm outraged, I'm frustrated, because how could this happen? How can you let this happen?" Jackson said.

3/29/2013 Related Story: Expert Says It's Rare To Contract Blood-borne Disease In Medical Setting

Like Jackson, Kathleen Burris is another very worried mom.

"I just want to cry for her," Burris said.

Her daughter, who now lives in North Carolina and has three young children, had dental work done in Harrington's clinic in 2011. She said the uncertainty is emotional and gut wrenching.

"How dare them! That's why we have medical ethics in America, to prevent this," Burris said.

As for Taylor, he said he's been doing a lot of praying.

"More now than I ever have been," Taylor said.

He's getting tested early, because he said he doesn't want any more sleepless nights.

"I'm terrified, I'm upset, I want justice," Taylor said.

The patients have been told it will take two to three weeks to get their test results back.

Read The Oklahoma Board Of Dentistry's Complaint Against Dr. Harrington

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