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Infection Prevention and Control Lapse (update June 19, 2018)

Infection prevention and control lapse at an Orillia dental clinic

We continue to recommend that patients who have received dental services at the dental clinic located at 18 Wyandotte Street in Orillia previously known as Joe Philip and Associates between January 1, 2012 and December 18, 2017, consult with a health care professional about possible testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). If you do not have a health care provider, please go or take your affected family member to a walk-in or urgent care clinic.

This reminder is a result of two reports of hepatitis C cases in individuals, one of whom is a child, who had received dental services at the clinic between the dates noted.

Both individuals sought testing as a result of the health unit‘s recommendation in February that patients who attended the clinic between the dates above should consult with a health care provider to discuss possible testing. The original recommendation in February was a result of an investigation by SMDHU that identified that patients who attended the dental clinic between January 1, 2012 and December 18, 2017 may have been exposed to dental instruments that were not cleaned and sterilized properly according to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario infection prevention and control guidelines.

Improperly cleaned and sterilized medical and dental instruments can spread infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The risk of infection from disease in this situation is low.

We have posted a letter in the left menu that you can take to your health care provider that explains this situation. If you have any questions about this lapse please call us at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-751-7520 ext. 5828, Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you have already been tested for these infections as a result of this situation, you do NOT need to be re-tested.

More details on the investigation

Investigations happen when we receive a complaint from a member of the public, whose identity is kept confidential. We received a complaint in early December about this clinic and started an investigation.

As soon as the complaint was received, we informed the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) and shared our investigation report and its recommendations with the college.  We continue to work closely with the College regarding this situation. See a copy of the initial report. Our investigation concluded that patients may have been exposed to dental instruments that were not cleaned and sterilized properly according to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario infection prevention and control guidelines.

Improper cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of medical instruments can spread infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) to patients. The risk of infection with disease in this situation is low.

As a result, patients of this clinic needed to be notified. Obtaining the list of patients to contact the affected patients directly in a timely manner was not possible, so we issued a press release and posted information on our website, www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

When an investigation starts, our first goal is to make sure that the clinic is safe for patients to attend. We focus on assisting the clinic to correct any inconsistencies in their cleaning and sterilization practices from the accepted IPAC protocols. This includes everything from staff education and training, to cleaning of patient care spaces, to disinfection of instruments used on patients, storage and keeping records of monitoring procedures.

The health unit’s investigators have been trained and most are certified by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Starting in 2015, the province required all public health units to investigate any regulated health premise when an infection prevention and control (IPAC) complaint has been brought to their attention. All health units follow IPAC standards created by the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC), which is a part of Public Health Ontario. For the dental profession, the Royal College of Dentists and Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) created its own IPAC guidelines in 2010 that are recognized by Public Health Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

 

 

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