Dentist Puts 8,000 at Risk for HIV by Reusing Needles
One oral surgeon has done the unthinkable.
Dr. Stephen Stein is being investigated for putting thousands of people at risk to contract the HIV virus and hepatitis by reusing syringes and needles. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is attempting to contact 8,000 patients who saw Dr. Stephen Stein at two of his clinics between September 1999 and June 2011.
“Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, said Stein was already the target of a criminal probe for possible prescription fraud before the allegations emerged about reusing syringes,” said Coffman. “She said no criminal charges had so far been filed.”
According to a department statement, “Syringes and needles were re-used for multiple patients to give intravenous medications, including sedation.” Those instruments were “used repeatedly, often days at a time.”
Since blood can stay in a syringe and needle after an injection, health officials said, that creates a risk of spreading blood-borne illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis if the implements are reused. Those who received IV medications are being urged to get tested for those viruses.The Denver Post reported state health director Dr. Chris Urbina said that as patients get tested, no infections have been reported yet. Stein’s license to practice medicine was suspended in 2011 due to an unrelated matter that hasn’t been disclosed.
This is horrible news for Colorado residents.