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]