The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent letters to 8,000 patients of dentist Stephen Stein, urging them to seek tests for the diseases after learning of “unsafe injection practices” at two Denver-area clinics he owned between September 1999 and June 2011.
Investigators found that Stein reused needles and syringes in several patients’ intravenous lines at his oral surgery and dental implant clinics, in violation of standard medical protocol, the department said in a statement
“This practice has been shown to transmit infections,” the statement said.
It added that there had been no confirmed cases of anyone contracting the viral infections through Stein’s clinics.
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In the letters sent to Stein’s former patients, the health department urged them to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, said Jan Stapleman, a department spokeswoman.
Stein’s records were incomplete, so it is likely more people were possibly exposed than those already identified, she said.
A hot line established for Stein’s patients to call was “very busy” all day on Friday, Stapleman said.