Contamination scare at children’s dental clinic in Dublin

Containers used during treatment believed to have been contaminated with toxic liquid

The HSE has confirmed that patients who attended the Meath Campus dental service on Heytesbury Street in Dublin 8 had been contacted by staff. Photograph: iStock

The HSE has confirmed that patients who attended the Meath Campus dental service on Heytesbury Street in Dublin 8 had been contacted by staff. Photograph: iStock

 

Patients at a HSE children’s dental clinic in Dublin have been alerted after water containers used during treatment were suspected of having been contaminated with a toxic liquid.

The HSE has confirmed that patients who attended the Meath Campus dental service on Heytesbury Street in Dublin 8 had been contacted by staff, and that there had been no reports of adverse reactions to date.

The HSE is now conducting an internal investigation into how containers at the clinic may have been contaminated by Quitanet Plus, a solution for cleaning and pre-disinfecting dental instruments.

Inappropriate exposure to the cleaning agent can cause serious eye damage and skin irritation, while symptoms can sometimes take several hours to appear.

An email sent from the principal surgeon at the campus informing staff of the suspected incident urged that they always remember to check which chemicals they used and ensure they were used appropriately.

It added that there could be changes to the chemicals used in ultrasonic cleaners following the discovery of the suspected contamination.

The investigation follows an incident in Limerick in October 2017 when water containers used in dental chair treatment were contaminated with diluted drain cleaner.

In that case, some 15 of the 43 children identified following the contamination experienced some level of adverse symptoms and the HSE committed to making “appropriate efforts” to support families and keep all those affected informed.

The findings of the HSE investigation into the October 2017 incident were inconclusive but did warn that internal security within the affected dental clinic was poor.

It also found that domestic cleaning products were not stored securely at the clinic, that staffing in the central sterile services department was not adequate and that there was a lack of written standard operating procedures.