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
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…