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Health Officials Say Tulsa Dentist Treated Juvenile Patients At Former Rader Center

Health Officials Say Tulsa Dentist Treated Juvenile Patients At Former Rader Center

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Oklahoma health officials are looking for more patients of dentist Dr. Scott Harrington.

The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry labeled Dr. Scott Harrington "a menace to public health," after it said he may have exposed 7,000 patients to HIV and hepatitis because of rusty tools and unsanitary conditions.

04/30/2013 Related Story: Health Department: $700,000 Spends Screening Patients Of Tulsa Dentist

Now investigators have announced that Harrington operated on young people incarcerated at the former L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs.

The revelation means more patients might be exposed and not know it, and it means more people in high risk groups were in the office where it's alleged poor sterilization could have spread disease.

The Rader Center was the state's maximum security prison for children. It closed in 2011.

The state determined 191 juvenile offenders from Rader were seen by Harrington, and now they too will be notified of possible infection, and asked to come in for testing.

“It's kind of up to individuals whether or not they want to come in for testing and as we've reported, 3,700 people in the state have received testing, but we are starting to see those numbers decrease,” Kelly VanBuskirk Health Department Epidemiologist said.

Health officials continue the process of notifying patients of Harrington, though some of the letters they sent out have since been returned. And now they're also cross-referencing the list of juvenile offenders with the list of Harrington's patients they already had… presuming some patients will be on both lists.

The health department says 191 juveniles at Rader were treated by Harrington.

They've determined 97 were already known, the other 94 were not in the records used to make notifications.

Harrington's connection to Rader was as a state contracted provider for Medicaid, which pays medical bills for incarcerated children. He saw all of the children in his clinic, not at the prison.

4/25/2013 Related Story: Health Department: 8 More Tulsa Dental Patients Test Positive For Hepatitis C

So far, 3,740 people have been checked and 3,055 were in Tulsa County, 64 in Oklahoma County and 611 from 30 other Oklahoma counties and 10 in other states.

While juvenile prisoners could have higher rates of infection, the people tested so far have not.

“The prevalence rate is about 1.8 percent and that's about what we're seeing, it's nothing out of the ordinary,” VanBuskirk said.

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