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Four patients test positive for Hepatitis C after using Ayrshire dentist

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Ayrshire dentist Alan Morrison has been accused of putting his patients’ health at risk by using dirty equipment and reusing disposable gloves between November 2012 and September 2013. It has also been alleged that two of his staff have been involved in attempting to cover up the clinical negligence. Around 6,000 of Morrison’s patients were exposed to the risk of blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis due to practices carried out at the surgery.  Morrison had clinics in Cumnock and Drongan in Ayrshire, and patients were sent letters to undergo tests and a helpline set up to cope with more than 2000 calls.

Of the 2250 patients who took up the offer of blood testing, none were found to be HIV positive, however four were found to be Hepatitis C. positive. Two of the patients testing positive had visited the clinic on the same day, however it is still unclear if there is a connection.

Concerns raised by a dental nurse

Morrison has appeared before a General Dental Council tribunal, where he has admitted to falsifying invoices to cover up his decontamination procedures. He also claimed that missing documentation had been damaged by flooding. The tribunal heard that concerns had been raised by a dental nurse who had applied for a position with the practice. The nurse reported her concerns to the Health Board, and both practices were closed to undergo inspection.

It has been found that proper sterilisation procedures were not carried out between patients, with instruments being simply wiped down with alcohol wipes.  He reused impression trays and disposable drill bits.  He also used dirty amalgam guns and reused his disposable gloves.

Lawyers in Glasgow have announced that they will be representing more than 500 patients who are taking action against Morrison, and that court hearings could commence in a matter of months.

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