November 21, 2007
The investigation into Dix Hill anesthesiologist Dr. Harvey Finkelstein has been expanded to include patients he treated as long ago as 1994, the state health department said Tuesday.
An earlier probe determined the doctor had contaminated multidose medicine vials by reusing syringes between 2000 and 2005. The investigation was broadened, however, after the department received a number of calls from former patients who said they had received injections from the doctor before 2000.
The department has already sent notification letters to 628 patients treated between 2000 and 2005. Department spokesperson Claudia Hutton said the agency does not know how many more patients may have received injections, "and that's the real problem. At this point, we figure letting the public know is the best way to get patients in touch with us quickly."
A statement from state Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines said, "We now advise that all patients who believe they received an injection before Jan. 15, 2005, from Dr. Harvey Finkelstein" at Pain Care of Long Island in Plainview or Island Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center in Massapequa "should be tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV."
Patients who have not been contacted by mail are asked to call the Health Department at 800-278-2965 to request an information packet.