Recent News Articles
Traveling tech may have spread hepatitis
Health officials say a traveling medical technician who allegedly infected 30 New Hampshire patients with hepatitis C infected may also have infected others.
David Kwiatkowski, 33, who has hepatitis C and had worked at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire, was arrested and charged in connection with the outbreak this month. Officials at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday their investigation uncovered additional information indicating Kwiatkowski, while working in the hospital’s cardiac catheterization Lab, might have accessed other areas of the hospital.
Dr. Jose Montero, director of public health, said the risk of exposure for the newly identified group of patients is very low, but any patient in the hospital’s operating rooms — excluding outpatient surgery center — and the Intensive Care Unit between April 1, 2011, and May 25, 2012, should be tested for hepatitis C.
The recommendation involves approximately 6,000 people, Montero said.
Kwiatkowski told authorities he was diagnosed with hepatitis C in May 2012, but the investigation revealed he tested positive in June 2010. He worked on a contract basis for hospitals in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania in the last five years, health officials in those states confirmed, CNN reported.
Montero said Kwiatkowski allegedly injected himself with painkillers prescribed for patients when he worked at Exeter Hospital and left the syringes for reuse. Hepatitis can pass via contaminated blood, most often via shared needles.
Other hospitals and states are erring on the side of caution and contacting patients who came with Kwiatkowski, officials said.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International