Department of Health Recommends Testing for Patients of a Berks County Pennsylvania Dental Office After Investigation Finds It Did Not Follow Infection Control Procedures

(Source:  Pennsylvania Department of Health Website – New Release dated 12/19/2016).

As a public service, the personal injury lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., want to share important information from the Pennsylvania Department of Health concerning patients of a dental office in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has advised patients of a dental office in Pennsylvania that they might be at risk for infection after an investigation discovered the facility did not follow appropriate infection control procedures. The department recommends patients seen between December 19, 2015, and October 19, 2016, get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  “While we haven’t received reports of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV from patients, infection control procedures at this practice were inadequate and created the potential for harm, so we’re recommending patients get tested,” said Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy. “We prefer that patients receive information regarding their health directly from their provider. However, in this case, that did not happen, so we’ve contacted patients of this practice directly.”

The department recommends testing for current or former patients who had dental procedures performed at the office, such as cleanings, fillings, implants, denture fittings, and other procedures.  An investigation by the departments of Health and State found that the dental office in Pennsylvania did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect, or sterilize devices.  On October 21, the department sent a letter to the practice to cease and desist all patient care, as well as issued formal recommendations to improve patient safety. No patients should have received care at the practice and the practice remains closed until the infection control concerns are addressed.

“Infection control is an essential step in patient safety that cannot be overlooked,” said Secretary of State Pedro Cortés. “It’s important to talk to your dentist about infection control and what they are doing to protect you while under their care.”

Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV are serious medical conditions that may not cause any outward symptoms in infected patients for many years. Visit the Department of Health’s website at to learn more.  For more information about infection control procedures in dental offices, visit the Center for Disease Control’s website.

Since 1959, the lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., have assisted families who have suffered injury or harm in Reading, Berks County, PA, Pottsville, Schuylkill County, PA, and throughout Eastern and Central PA.  Our lawyers handle personal injury and medical malpractice claims, including claims for injuries or death caused by unsanitary facilities and contaminated medical instruments.

Call the experienced attorneys at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., should you have any questions.  Consultation is free.  We can obtain the records if we investigate the case.

From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire.


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