This past week, on July 12, 2012, the State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a health advisory about an investigation of unsafe injection practices occurring at two offices of Dr. Stephen M. Stein, a Colorado oral surgeon.
The investigation revealed that unsafe injection practices occurred at Dr. Stein’s offices during the time period between September 1999 and June 2011. Those practices involved the re-use of both needles and syringes to inject medications, including sedation, into multiple patients’ intravenous (IV) lines. The investigation found that “needles and syringes were used repeatedly, often days at a time.”
Because there can be a small amount of blood that remains in syringes and needles after an injection through an IV line, there is a risk of spread of bloodborne pathogens between patients.
Patients who received IV medications at Dr. Stein’s offices during the relevant time period may have been exposed to several bloodborne pathogens, including HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C; they are being advised to receive testing.
Click here to read the Health Advisory.
Click here to read the CDPHE News Release.