What to Know
- Three Trieu Family Dental Clinics were closed down after officials determined they had unsanitary conditions.
- While there is a low risk, health officials say patients at the practices may have been exposed to hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.
- Patients at any of the clinics are encouraged to call 215-218-2999 from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Three Philadelphia dental practices were closed down after officials determined they had unsanitary conditions and may have exposed up to 1,500 patients to diseases, including HIV.
The three Trieu Family Dental clinics on 437 West Chew Avenue, 5427 North 5th Street, and 6536 Woodland Avenue were shut down. The Health Department believes the risk of infection is low and is unaware of any infections as a result of unsafe practices at the locations but still recommends that patients contact their healthcare providers and get tested for hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, and HIV. Health experts also say it can take years for symptoms to surface.
Investigators say they visited the clinics and found improper injection safety practices and lack of proper equipment cleaning after receiving a tip.
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"The sterilization and handling of used instruments on patients was not being cleaned appropriately or in a timely fashion," Dr. Steven Alles, the Director of Disease Control with the Philadelphia Health Department, told NBC10.
All three were then closed on Dec. 7, 2018. Since then, the Health Department has worked with staff at the clinics to reeducate them, update their infection control practices and obtain a list of patients. The Pennsylvania Department of State also launched a separate investigation.
None of the clinics will reopen until the Health Department is satisfied that they’ve fixed all unsafe practices.
All patients who received dental care at any of the locations between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 7, 2018, were notified. The Health Department also set up a hotline for any patients who may have questions about the clinics or potential exposure. They are encouraged to call 215-218-2999 from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.