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Apr 17, 2013 9:13 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Patients should be tested, says health department

TUCSON - The Pima County Health Department says they are sending letters to 174 people who were patients of T Dental Clinic and were treated between the month of Jnauary and July 2010.
The clinic, which has since been closed, was located at 3662 W. Ina Road.

The letters are urging the patients to see their primary care physicians so they can be tested for three diseases.

A press release issued Wednesday states, "the potential exposure may have been the result of improperly installed dental equipment, but at this time there is no evidence that patients
were exposed to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV."

Dr. Francisco Garcia, the public health director said, "At this time we are trying to help provide residents with sufficient information so they can take the appropriate steps to feel secure about their health. The only individuals at risk for infections are those were seen at T Dental Clinic during a very specific period of time." He said medical and dental offices are not regulated by the county health department. Garcia described the cross contamination, "so when we go to see the dentist there are machines that suck and blow water into our mouths it has to do with one of the connections in one of those machines."

The dentist, Dr. Victor Trujillo, who treated patients at the clinic said he found out about the problem three years ago and contacted the appropriate people. Dr. Garcia says the Pima County Health Department learned of the incident last month.

Trujillo says he hired Bert's Electric and Plumbing to install the system and it was done incorrectly and out of code. An attorney for the company said system was installed according to the doctor's orders.

Maranda Rennick said she had been a patient of Trujillos since the age of 8, "I never perceived him to be anything other than a perfectionist and everything done properly."

Lee Horner is the attorney representing Trujillo, "he had been doing this for 20 years, so to lose a practice and all the patients you built up over that time, as you might understand is quite frustrating."

There is an on-going civil case between Trujillo and Bert's Electric and Plumbing, Horner said the case would go to court in June.

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