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9 Ohio veterans test positive for hepatitis

By Nina Golgowski, CNN
A dentist at the Dayton VA Medical Center admitted to not washing his hands or changing gloves between patients.
A dentist at the Dayton VA Medical Center admitted to not washing his hands or changing gloves between patients.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Hepatitis tests for hundreds follow dental treatment
  • VA dentist voluntarily retires
  • Dentist admitted to not washing hands or changing gloves between patients during 18-year period

New York (CNN) -- Nine Ohio veterans have tested positive for hepatitis after undergoing routine dental work at a Dayton clinic, according to Ohio Veterans Affairs Communications Officer Todd Sledge.

After a dentist at the Dayton VA Medical Center admitted to not washing his hands or changing gloves between patients during an 18-year period, 375 veterans were tested for hepatitis and HIV.

Seven of the 375 have since tested positive for Hepatitis C and two for Hepatitis B, according to Sledge. Test results are not complete.

The clinic had said all necessary care and treatment will be provided free to a veteran, should they test positive. Sledge had said the clinic is taking full accountability.

Dentist Dwight Pemberton voluntarily retired on February 11. No additional information on other employees involved in the case has been released, according to Sledge.

With Pemberton's retirement, he no longer faces administrative action by the clinic, Sledge said.

Last year the clinic closed for a month for "re-education on infection control standards" for the staff. Veterans could still receive care at other facilities found through the medical center, Sledge said.

The center is taking an "ongoing in-depth look at a lot of aspects surrounding the allegations," Sledge said. "When someone brings those things to your attention, you need to review what practices are happening."

More information and a list of labs in contractual agreement with the Dayton center is available by calling the VA's hotline at 1-877-424-8214.

CNN's Tina Burnside contributed to this report