Patients of Lakeland Clinic in Lindsay who received a dental treatment between November 10, 2017 and February 21, 2018 are being urged to get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has notified patients of Lakeland Clinic, located at 2 Albert Street North in Lindsay, who received treatment during that time that they may be at risk for a blood-borne virus.
The warning comes after the Health Unit investigated the infection and prevention practices of the clinic and found there were times in which proper sterilization of equipment may not have happened. When sterilization is not done properly, there is a risk that clients may be exposed to other people’s germs on improperly cleaned instruments.
The investigation started after the Health Unit was notified of a person recently diagnosed with hepatitis C who had received treatment at Lakeland Clinic. The investigation revealed a potential link to a second person with hepatitis C who also received treatment at the clinic.
The Health Unit has been working closely with the staff of Lakeland Clinic and proper sterilization practices are now in place.
“The clinic has worked with the Health Unit to correct any identified deficiencies in their sterilization practices and they are now operating at the expected standard of care,” says Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, medical officer of health for the HKPR District Health Unit. “As a result, the clinic is permitted to continue its practice.”
Though the risk of contracting a virus is low, all patients who received treatment between November 10, 2017 and February 21 are being urged to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Early diagnosis can ensure anyone infected receives treatment and does not unknowingly spread a virus. Many people who become ill with Hep B, Hep C and HIV do not have symptoms.
“We are recommending that people get their blood tested as soon as possible,” Noseworthy says. “Many people infected with bloodborne viruses may not even know they are ill and may be putting other people at risk.”
Identified patients of the clinic have received a letter and a requisition that allows them to go directly to a lab to have their blood drawn for testing. Test results will be provided to the Health Unit and the Health Unit will notify patients of their results one to two weeks after the blood tests have been completed.
More information is available on the Health Unit’s website at www.hkpr.on.ca or by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1006. Nurses are available Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 7 pm, from May 28 to June 1, and 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on all other weekdays.
The Health Unit is continuing its investigation.