Former Patient Of Tulsa Dentist Accused Of Malpractice Speaks Out
OKLAHOMA CITY - The state health department confirms at least one patient of a Tulsa dentist contracted Hepatitis C from his office. That dentist is accused of possibly exposing thousands of patients, and he wants his license reinstated.
Eighty-nine of Dr. Scott Harrington's patients tested positive for Hepatitis C, five for Hepatitis B, and four for HIV. Harrington's dental office has been shut down since March, accused of using unsanitary instruments.
The health department had not directly linked any of those positive results to Harrington's practice, until now. On Wednesday, the health department says one of those cases is the first known transmission of Hepatitis C from one dental patient to another.
One former patient is not happy Harrington now wants his license back. News 9's Evan Anderson sat down with Kim Heyman back in March, who at the time was on pins and needles praying for negative tests results. Kim wasn't even comfortable showing her face until now.
"I feel a little relieved, but a little, you now, shocked that the doctor would even have the nerve to say that he should get his license back," said Heyman.
Kim went to Harrington in 2003 to get a chipped tooth removed that was imbedded in her gums. Harrington also removed her wisdom teeth during the same visit. She was even sedated with an IV during the oral surgery, which The Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry says is illegal in a dental office.
"I remember everyday waiting to get my letter, my results back after I got tested," said Heyman. "I thought about those 20, 30 people that I sat in that room with. I thought, ‘Are they going through the same thing I am? What if their results are positive?'"
She got the news of Harrington's alleged malpractice and the possibility of being exposed to life-changing viruses just weeks before her only daughter's wedding. A week after the wedding she got a letter from the Oklahoma County Health department.
"I mean, I was just so elated. I was so happy, very very happy," said Heyman.
Now, she just hopes Harrington never practices again.
"Who in their right mind would go see him as a patient if he were to get his license back?" said Heyman.
Patients who had to be tested say they don't expect any kind of monetary relief from what they've had to go through. Some though want at least a personal or public apology for the pain and suffering.