Although Risk is Low, Patients Advised to Contact Their Healthcare Provider to Discuss Testing for Bloodborne Infections
Peterborough Public Health is reaching out to advise patients of Kawartha Endodontics about a potential risk of bloodborne infection. Patients of Kawartha Endodontics who received treatment before July 16, 2019 are being advised to make an appointment with their healthcare provider to discuss testing for bloodborne infections, specifically hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
On July 11, 2019, Peterborough Public Health received a complaint from a member of the public about infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices at Kawartha Endodontics, 425 Water Street, Suite 200, Peterborough, ON. Peterborough Public Health investigated the IPAC complaint on July 15, 2019 and found that proper sterilization of dental instruments could not be confirmed. Improperly cleaned and improperly sterilized instruments can spread infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV as well as other bacterial pathogens.
Immediately following the inspection on July 15, 2019, Peterborough Public Health issued an order to close the clinic and provided Dr. Rita Kilislian with a list of requirements as per the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) standards. A final re-inspection was completed on July 25, 2019. At that time, the dental clinic met PIDAC standards and as a result, Peterborough Public Health rescinded the order and the dental clinic was able to re-open on July 26, 2019.
At the time of this release, Peterborough Public Health is not aware of any cases of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV transmission related to this dental clinic and believes the risk of infection at this clinic is low. “While the risk of infection at this clinic is believed to be low, the risk to an individual patient depends on the frequency and type of procedures that were performed. As such, Peterborough Public Health recommends that all patients who received dental treatment at this dental clinic prior to July 16, 2019, make an appointment with their healthcare provider to discuss testing,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, Peterborough Public Health.
In instances like this, direct patient notification by mail would be the preferred method of ensuring that all patients are provided with the information they need to make a decision about testing for the possible presence of bloodborne infections. However, as Kawartha Endodontics is appealing Dr. Salvaterra’s order for this information, with a hearing not scheduled until mid-January 2020, Peterborough Public Health has made the decision to proceed with notifying patients via the media, social media and on its website.
Kawartha Endodontics received referrals from across central Ontario, so this advisory is relevant to their patients living outside the Peterborough area who had treatment prior to July 16, 2019 as well.
If you were a patient at the clinic and received treatment prior to July 16, 2019, please visit Peterborough Public Health’s website at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/IPACLapseKawarthaEndodontics to download and print a copy of the patient letter, laboratory requisition, and letter for your healthcare provider. More information, including the IPAC Lapse Report, fact sheets regarding hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, and a detailed question and answer section related to this IPAC lapse, is available on Peterborough Public Health’s website at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/IPACLapseKawarthaEndodontics.
Patients of Kawartha Endodontics who have received treatment on or after July 26, 2019 are not at an increased risk of infection and are not implicated by this notification.
For further information, please contact:
705-743-1000, ext. 391