Patients tested for HIV after Swiss authorities close dental practice
Authorities from a Swiss canton have ordered a dental practice to close with immediate effect after inspectors found that treatments were being carried out using non-sterile equipment. Patients of the dental practice, which is located in Birr, Canton Aargau, are now being advised by the authorities to get tested for HIV, as well as Hepatitis B and C.
Large number of patients affected
Even though the Swiss healthcare system holds records on each patient treated at the dentist in question, health authorities are keen to draw attention to the closure since a large number of patients are affected. The dental practice was closed under a provisional order on April 3 until a definitive decision was made to close the dental practice permanently on April 11.
All patients have now been contacted by the canton, with the authorities recommending those affected get tested for diseases such as Hepatitis B, C and HIV. The health authorities have not released exact numbers on how many people were contacted, but according to Swiss broadcaster SRF, many patients are affected.
Lack of hygiene existed since March 2022
The canton was initially made aware of the hygiene issues at the dentist in March 2022. According to the canton, the problems arose from a health condition that the dentist suffered from, although refused to comment further.
However, the dentist concerned did not work with bloody instruments, Christian Prochaska, Head of Health Professions for the Canton of Aargau, stressed in an interview with SRF. The main issue came from the fact that sterilisation devices were not working properly, meaning that the instruments used in the surgery were not completely sterile.