New Jersey dentist agrees to suspension after 15 patients sickened, 1 death

A New Jersey oral surgeon has agreed to a five-year license suspension after 15 patients were sickened by a bacterial heart infection and one died.
Dr. John Vecchione on Monday also agreed to pay $293,500 in penalties and costs.
According to state officials, Vecchione engaged in “professional misconduct and gross negligence” by failing to follow infection control protocols.
The state alleged the Budd Lake dentist failed to use sterile water or sterile saline during surgical procedures, improperly handled and stored single dose medication vials and did not properly prepare instruments.
The allegations stemmed from a series of inspections conducted after an outbreak of bacterial endocarditis among Vecchione’s patients.
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.