Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

01 Dec 1998 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 6

HIV dental scare

More than 60 residents of Queanbeyan in the ACT have been advised that due to a failure by the Public Dental Clinic to sterilise instruments used for dental treatment, they should have blood tests.


Patients will have to wait six months to learn if they have contracted HIV (AIDS) Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C which may have been transferred by the non-sterile instruments used in their treatment. The patients included children, young mothers and the elderly.

Thirty patients have accepted the offer of free blood tests, post test counselling and support. The patients have been told they should avoid sharing shaving equipment or toothbrushes with family and friends. Adults have been given a packet of condoms and told to practice safe sex.

The incident is believed to have occurred as a result of poorly trained staff who operated the autoclave and failed to carry out the necessary monitoring required at the end of every autoclave cycle.

A number of legal firms have been attempting to contact patients in the expectation that a class action for damages will be commenced.

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