On February 24th, during a routine safety check, staff at the Orleans Dental Center of Northern Counties Health Care discovered that a machine that sterilizes equipment did not complete its full sterilization process. We cannot guarantee that this equipment was properly sterilized on February 21st. The equipment was potentially used on nine patients on Friday, February 21st prior to discovering the mistake. The use of these tools created a safety risk for patients, placing them at potential low risk of bloodborne pathogens. Northern Counties Health Care has contacted every patient that received care at the Orleans Dental Center on February 21st, and we are offering them the appropriate blood testing and follow up care.
“Patient care and safety are our number one priority,” said Michael Costa, CEO of Northern Counties Health Care. “I want to apologize fully and sincerely to our patients, and I take full responsibility for this error.” Costa added, “we will do everything in our power to care for patients placed at risk and evaluate our safety procedures to make sure this does not happen again.”
Prior to re-opening the clinic, the Orleans Dental Center staff cleaned and sanitized every patient room and instrument. Also, out of an abundance of caution, the organization contacted the Vermont Department of Health. Any patient or community member with questions or concerns is encouraged to contact Northern Counties Health Care at (802) 748-9405.