A January licensure hearing for a Tulsa oral surgeon accused of keeping filthy office conditions has been postponed at least until April because an investigation of his practices is still ongoing.
Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Executive Director Susan Rogers says the continuation was agreed to by her office and attorneys for Dr. W. Scott Harrington, whose two Tulsa-area clinics were shuttered last March.
Rogers says depositions of up to 40 patients, clinic employees and other witnesses are causing the delay.
The Tulsa Health Department says genetic tests on HIV specimens from former patients of an Oklahoma oral surgeon accused of maintaining filthy office conditions are inconclusive for potential connection to his practice.
Specimens from three of four patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington testing positive for HIV were submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for genetic analysis to determine if the source of infections was related to the clinic.
Oklahoma health officials say a dentist's office shut down for unsafe practices last spring is responsible for the first known transmission of hepatitis C from one dental patient to another.
The state epidemiologist said Tuesday that genetic testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that the virus was passed at the Tulsa-area offices of Dr. W. Scott Harrington.
Health officials said the use of unsanitary equipment led to cross-contamination between patients.
The Oklahoma State Board of Health plans to meet partly in executive session to discuss the ongoing investigation of a Tulsa oral surgeon who was at the center of a public health scare involving thousands of his patients.
The meeting in Oklahoma City starts Tuesday morning. The executive session is scheduled as the second-to-last item on the agenda, and a spokeswoman with the agency could not comment on what specifically would be discussed.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley, Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Executive Director Susan Rogers and Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart encourage anyone potentially exposed to visit the Health Department's free clinic.
Credit Catherine Roberts / KWGS News - Public Radio Tulsa