Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cheapskate, dentist, Dr. Stephen Stein, has Patient Test Positive for Hepatitis C


DENVER - A 9News viewer, who wanted to remain anonymous, says her husband tested positive for hepatitis C this week after a major health warning from Colorado's Public Health Department.

The positive lab results for hepatitis C, shown to 9News, comes nearly two weeks after 8,000 people received letters from Colorado's Health Department about oral surgeon Dr. Stephen Stein.

Dr. Stein is accused of re-using needles and syringes for days at a time on his patients over the course of 12 years. He had two practices - one in Denver and one in Highlands Ranch.

The 9News viewer's husband went to Dr. Stein for several procedures. His last procedure, done September of 2009, Dr. Stein pulled her husband's wisdom teeth, she said.

She received a letter from the state, much like many of Dr. Stein's other patients, saying her husband should be tested, she said.

The positive results for hepatitis C came from her husband's doctor's office this week, and they have ordered further testing.

Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.

"Most people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms," according to the Mayo Clinic's website. "In fact, most people don't know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up, decades later, during routine medical tests."

The 9News viewer said tests for HIV and hepatitis B came back negative for her husband.

A nurse at her husband's doctor's office said there was no definitive way to link the positive hepatitis C results to Dr. Stein's practice, she said.

A letter from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment warned patients that testing could not determine how or where patients would become infected.

To date, the health department has not released numbers of patients that might be infected after the warnings went out.

Colorado Department of Public Health Spokesman Mark Salley said they are surveying patients and will release numbers of people infected, if there are numbers to be released, next Wednesday.