UPDATED: Dirty Tools May Have Infected Patients at Burlington Clinic

 

Clients at a Burlington surgery clinic are being advised to discuss getting tested for infectious diseases after possibly being exposed to dirty equipment.

They may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments used for procedures at the Ontario Institute of Facial Surgery by Dr. Joseph Korkis.

The clinic is at 672 Brant St., Unit 405.

Clients should see their family doctor to discuss getting tested.

As a precaution, “the Halton Region Health Department is recommending that you consider testing any person who received any services at this location for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),” reads a Dec. 14 letter to doctors from associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joanna Oda.

If the client received services at this clinic within the last three to six months and tests negative for all three viruses, the client needs to have repeat testing at least four to six weeks after the initial testing to ensure they are tested outside the incubation period for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.”

The following tests are recommended:

* Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg).

* Hepatitis B core total antibody (HBcAb Total (IgG +IgM)).

* Hepatitis C screen

* HIV screen.

Clients are being asked to see their family doctor or go to a walk-in clinic to proceed with testing (blood samples are collected and sent to a lab for analysis).

The clinic was inspected on Dec. 4 by public health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario as a result of a patient complaint.

The findings: Proper infection prevention and control practices weren’t being followed to clean, disinfect, sterilize and store equipment and devices.

The health department closed the clinic.

A reinspection at the office on Dec. 12 found proper infection control practices were being followed and patient services were resumed.

Halton Region “is not aware of any cases of infection associated with this clinic at this time.”

Korkis “lectures internationally and attends conferences regularly in the field of rhinoplasty, nasal and facial plastic cosmetic surgery, as well as snoring and sleep apnea surgery,” according to the clinic’s website.

He’s also “triple board-certified by three different colleges in three countries.”

Korkis has another clinic at the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby, however, Halton Region’s investigation only involves the Burlington clinic.

Halton notified Niagara Region Public Health of Korkis’ practice in Grimsby “and they are investigating. At this time, Niagara Region Public Health is not advising patients who saw Dr. Korkis at the Grimsby location to seek any medical follow-up.”

If you have further questions or concerns related to the Grimsby location, call Niagara Region Public Health by calling 1-800-263- 7215.

Contact your doctor if you have personal health questions. For more information about the investigation, visit Halton Region’s infection prevention and control page or phone (905) 825-6000 or 311.

CORRECTIONS: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the Halton Region health department sent letters to patients regarding this issue. The letter is to doctors — patients are being asked to download the letter (it’s under Resources, titled Halton Region physician letter) and take it to their appointments. Patients aren’t being advised to get tested, they’re being asked to discuss testing with their family doctor. We regret the errors.

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