After shutting down an unlicensed residential dental office in the city’s southwest last week, Alberta Health Services is asking anyone who received services there to be tested for several serious viruses, including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
“Anyone who received dental care at 20 Somervale Close S.W. and/or from Natalia Prohkin, of the same address, should call Health Link at 811 to arrange for simple, confidential laboratory blood testing for these viruses,” said AHS officials in a press release issued early Tuesday.
“This testing – some of which may take place over a period of time – will determine whether an individual has been infected.”
Dr. Judy MacDonald, medical officer of health for AHS Calgary Zone, said infection may have been spread from one patient to others at the unlicensed office because proper sterilization procedures were not in place.
“To prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, equipment used in dental procedures must be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized according to health standards,” MacDonald said.
“This unlicensed, home-based dental operation did not have these proper sterilization or sanitation processes in place, meaning individuals who received dental services through this operation may have been exposed to viruses, including hepatitis B and C, and HIV.”
AHS ordered the closure of the unlicensed operation on March 21, 2017. But because the investigation to date has not revealed a list of clientele, AHS is issuing the health advisory as a means of alerting anyone who received dental care from this operation and the need to be tested.
Officials say the unlicensed dental operation will remain under closure order unless significant changes can be made such that it is operated in a manner that meets all legislative and licensing requirements in Alberta. This includes ensuring the individual delivering dental care is a licensed dentist.
It is not yet clear whether Natalia Prohkin is a dentist or who may have carried viruses at the operation.
AHS was alerted to the practice through a private complaint.
It is the responsibility of the Alberta Dental Association and College (ADAC) to license dentists practising in the province of Alberta. To confirm a dentist is licensed to practise in Alberta, or to file a complaint about a dentist in Alberta, all Albertans can contact the ADAC toll-free at 1-800-843-3848.All closure orders issued by AHS can be viewed online at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/3150.asp.
Author: Eva Furgeson