Florida university warns 1.1K patients of sterilization deviation, potential virus exposure

Davie, Fla.-based Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine issued a warning to patients at one of its 11 clinics that the sterilization protocol was not followed, according to Local 10 News.

Because the sterilization deviation, patients may have been exposed to certain viruses, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The university sent 1,100 patients a letter describing the "inconsistency in the prescribed sterilization procedures," according to Local 10 News.

The sterilization issues were limited to the single clinic. The post-graduate orthodontic clinic where the incident occurred suggested patients be screened for the viruses by a physician. NSU will cover all costs.

In the letter, NSU told patients the chance of exposure was minimal. "Instead of the called-for completed heat sterilization process, equipment received a surface disinfectant wipe," NSU spokesman Brandon L. Hensler said in a statement, according to Local 10 News. "Once the college learned of the isolated breach of protocol in this one clinic, NSU conducted an extensive review to ensure that this clinic is following the same CDC-prescribed protocols as the other 11 dental clinics. "

NSU physicians are on staff for the next 60 days to answer questions about the potential exposure.

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