Patients of Hamilton doctor may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis


Hamilton Public Health is advising patients of a Hamilton doctor to get tested for infectious diseases.

Officials say anyone who received in-office surgical procedures including the removal of skin tags, warts, moles and cysts or biopsies of skin cancers at Dr. Lorin Harding’s clinic in Hamilton may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments.

In a letter to former and current patients, Public Health says, “Improperly cleaned surgical instruments carry a risk of transmitting infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and to a lesser extent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to clients.”

Harding operated a practice at 399 Greenhill Ave. from November 19, 1979 to December 31, 2005. He then moved his practice to 300-631 Queenston Rd.

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The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CBSO) began investigating the office on June 8 and found a “lack of evidence of appropriate cleaning, disinfection, sterilization and storage of instruments between patients.”

The CBSO notified Hamilton Public Health Services on June 16 stating “concerns noted in the areas of environmental cleaning, use of multi-dose vials, reprocessing of medical equipment used for minor surgical procedures and waste management.”

Public health performed an inspection at the Queenston Rd. office on June 19 and found insufficient cleaning of non-critical surfaces and equipment, expired alcohol-based hand rub noted in some areas of the clinic and insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) available onsite.

All minor medical procedures were stopped until a follow-up inspection was conducted on Monday which confirmed corrective measures were put in place.

The measures included providing hospital-grade disinfectant wipes in each treatment room, replacing expired alcohol-based hand rub, consulting with manufacturer regarding multi-dose product’s expiry date and ensuring personal protective equipment is available on-site.

For more information about the warning, click here.


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Comments

bgee says:

I hope this is not just the tipoff the iceberg.

Mich says:

I am a former patient of Dr. Harding, and thankfully did not have any of the skin procedures mentioned. I am shocked that Public Health Services does not inspect Doctor’s offices unless there is a complaint. Nail salons, hair dressers and tattoo shops are regularly inspected. We are safer getting a pedicure than going to the doctor’s office! The government needs to step up and inspect our health facilities on a regular basis to ensure compliance and for public safety.

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