Tulsa patient speaks out after potential HIV exposure at ‘shop of horrors’ dental office

(File photo) Credit: Getty Images
One person treated at the dental clinic has already tested positive for HIV since the news broke.
Credit: Getty Images

After news that 7,000 patients were potentially exposed to HIV from a dental office, a community in Tulsa is reeling in shock, fear and horror at the possibility of a health crisis.

Joyce Baylor, 69, visited W. Scott Harrington, the oral surgeon at the center of this horrific nightmare, to have a tooth removed a year and a half ago, and never imagined her health could be in jeopardy. She said she didn’t notice anything unusual about the office’s cleanliness during her visit, but it was only because she wasn’t on guard about sanitation, trusting that a certified doctor like Harrington would be taking the right precautions.

“I am devastated now that this has come about,” Baylor told Metro from her home in Tulsa. “I always felt comfortable when I go to doctor, never thinking anything negative because you are in a doctor’s office and they took an oath to take care of [their patients], but apparently something went wrong.”

Baylor made an appointment to be tested for hepatitis and HIV this coming Monday after learning from the local news that she could be at risk. She has already heard of one person in her community testing positive for HIV since news broke that Harrington’s patients as far back as 2007 may have been exposed.

“I can’t understand. He is a doctor — I’m sure he makes money,” Baylor said. “Why would he need to use rusty needles? I can’t understand why he would allow this. It’s unbelievable.”

Investigators said they uncovered horrific conditions inside Harrington’s dental office after learning that someone may have contracted hepatitis C there. Dentistry board members said they felt sick to their stomachs after observing unsanitized tools and rusty needles. It’s also alleged that unlicensed employees were performing intravenous sedation on patients.

Harrington told investigators many of his patients had HIV. He has since surrendered his dental license. The health department is in the process of notifying by letter more than 7,000 of his former patients that they should be tested.

For now, Baylor must anxiously await the results of her HIV and hepatitis tests. She said this entire experience has made her question visits to other doctors. Baylor said she is sorry to see this happen to Harrington, but that he should face consequences under the law.

“This is negligence – so whatever charges that apply to what he has done, I suppose he should pay the price,” Baylor said.

“Who can you trust if you can’t trust your doctor?”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…