Dental patients at Texas clinic contracted HIV, hep C due to poor sterilization, lawsuit claims

Clinical Leadership & Infection Control
Written by Mackenzie Garrity | March 03, 2020 | Print |

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Patients of the Galveston County (Texas) Health District who visited the public health clinic for dental procedures claim they contracted HIV and hepatitis C after their visits, according to the Star-Telegram.

A lawsuit filed Feb. 26 against Galveston County Health District alleges poor and negligent care. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that poor sanitation and sterilization procedures caused them to contract the diseases.

In 2018, inspectors uncovered poor sanitation and sterilization of equipment at the Coastal Health & Wellness clinics, which are operated by the Galveston County Health District. Officials determined that up to 9,500 dental patients could have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Three patients are named in the lawsuit that alleges one contracted HIV and two contracted hepatitis C after undergoing care at one of the clinics. One of those three patients died last year and is being represented in the lawsuit by her heirs.

The Galveston County Health District declined to comment to the Star-Telegram.

The plaintiffs are each seeking $5 million in damages.

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