Tennessee Dental Clinic Closed Over HIV and Hepatitis Concerns

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The Shelby County Health Department is strongly recommending testing for clients of a Memphis dental clinic. They fear HIV as well as Hep B and C exposure for patients of SPT Dental Clinic. The clinic was closed on July 1st after a recent investigation. No specific infections have been linked to the clinic at this time however, more than 3,500 patients could be at risk.

Alfred BrownThis is not the first time Dr. Alfred Brown, DDS has been in trouble for his dental practice:

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In 1990, Brown was caught prescribing controlled substances to patients he knew were abusing drugs. He also routinely over-sedated patients. In 1992, his license was revoked for failure to pay a civil penalty, and in 1996, his license was suspended for incorrectly reporting services that were never performed, according to the Health Department.

Dr. Brown graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee. He has been in practice for over forty years in the West Tennessee area.

Investigators found an extremely dirty and cracked floor, dentures improperly stored on countertops, and a container “overflowing with dirty needles.”

Very little dental equipment was found in the clinic, according to reports by investigators. They also found bloody gauze on the floor, the sink was crusted over with grime, dirt, and “non-identifiable” substances.

In the same room, investigators also found a device that is meant to be in patients’ mouths lying on an “extremely dirty” floor beside the cabinet.

Also, the autoclave that would be used to sterilize tools and instruments was not readily available and was completely rusted on the inside. Brown allegedly had a difficult time getting it to turn on. As well, no log could be presented that showed when equipment was sterilized.

The Health Department said Alfred Brown told investigators he had to leave and refused to continue the interview at this point in their investigation.

As the visit continued, the Health Department located more issues in the general office area. Electric cords were running through windows, leaking ceilings, an unsanitized public restroom, and a missing cover on the electrical outlet in the waiting room.

State health officials have reached out to colleagues in Arkansas and Mississippi to advise that people may be contacting them about the testing. About 200 Arkansas residents have been identified as patients of the clinic. At this time, no information is available on the number of clients living in the state of Mississippi.

Concerned you may have been affected?

Shelby County residents can get free testing at the Shelby County Health Department Cawthon Public Health Clinic located in the Orange Mound area of Memphis. Testing will begin Monday at 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and will be available on weekdays.

To make an appointment, call (901)222-9299 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.