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Dentist faces possible medical malpractice charges

New Jersey residents may be interested in a malpractice case that is raising concerns throughout the nation. A dentist in Oklahoma is under investigation for possibly infecting patients with hepatitis or HIV after treating them with allegedly unclean equipment.

The potential case of medical malpractice has thousands of people being tested. The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry has been talking with prosecutors regarding possible criminal charges against the dentist for allegedly unsanitary conditions and procedures at the dentist's two Tulsa-area offices. The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry filed a 17-count complaint in March that called the dentist a "menace to public health." 

Allegations against the Oklahoma dentist include using rusty equipment, possibly contaminated drug vials and improper use of an equipment-sterilizing machine. Board of Dentistry officials contend that the dentist's sterilization machine, which should have been tested monthly, had not been tested in at least six years. Thus far, only one of the dentist's patients has tested positive for hepatitis. That patient was initially diagnosed to also be infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but further testing eliminated the HIV fear.

Such a case opens the door for potential personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits. If found guilty of the allegations, thousands of the dentist's patients could have a right to file suit against him.

Medical professionals are trusted with a patient's well-being; however, mistakes or negligence can happen. A personal injury lawyer can consult with victims of medical malpractice and help them file a lawsuit, which could provide compensation.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Okla. board pushes for charges against dentist," By Justin Juozapavicius, April 1, 2013

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