VA whistleblowers: Dirty dentist infected vets

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Ohio vets didn’t expect to go a VA dental clinic and get sicker, but authorities are identifying patients believed to have been infected with hepatitis by an unsanitary dentist.

The Dayton Daily News is running a series on Dr. Dwight M. Pemberton’s alleged failure to follow proper infection-control protocols, and the VA’s alleged retaliation against two whistleblower lab techs.

Wallace “Ray” and Sherry Perdue say they were investigated after they told VA inspectors that the 81-year-old Pemberton failed to change latex gloves between patients and failed to sterilize instruments.

Sherry Perdue said she showed inspectors a drawer full of dirty dental tools used to adjust dentures.

The newspaper reports that the VA has closed the clinic temporarily and offered testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV to 535 patients who received invasive dental work from Pemberton, who has since retired.

Two hepatitis B cases have been uncovered, and the newspaper carried a report over the weekend of a 52-year-old Army vet who believes he contracted hepatitis C at the clinic.

Ohio lawmakers are now pressuring VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to investigate facilities statewide.

[via Dayton Daily News]
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  1. This is really awful. I’m sure Dr. Dwight M. Pemberton isn’t the only one who failed to change latex gloves between patients. I know some dentists that “forgot” to use them. I’m sure the 81-year old guy didn’t intend to do any harm, but his mistakes are now ruining lives of those patients and their families.

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