Update: NJ dentist, attorney general agree to hearing

The New Jersey oral surgeon linked to 15 cases of bacterial endocarditis has agreed that his license to practice will continue to be suspended and his case will be heard by administrative law judge, according to the Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey.

John Vecchione, DDS, had his license to practice suspended in August 2016. Under the terms of an agreement with New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino, Dr. Vecchione's case will be heard by an administrative law judge, after which the New Jersey Board of Dentistry will make a decision on his license, according to a statement from the attorney general's office.

Investigations by state health officials found breaches of infection-prevention practices at the office where Dr. Vecchione's patients had received IV sedation. Twelve patients needed cardiac surgery as a result of their infections, with eight patients requiring valve replacements and four requiring valve repair procedures, according to a report from the New Jersey Department of Health. One patient died from complications of the infection and resulting cardiac surgery. The infections likely occurred during intravenous sedation, the report concluded.

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