Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Former hospital employee indicted for allegedly causing HCV outbreak

December 5, 2012

A former New Hampshire hospital employee has been indicted for allegedly causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C, according to a press release from US Attorney John P. Kacavas.

According to the release, David M. Kwiatkowski is infected with HCV and has been aware of his condition since June 2010. The accused 33-year-old, who served as a traveling health care technician since 2007, was hired at Exeter Hospital in Exeter in April 2011. He allegedly injected himself with syringes of fentanyl, a potent anesthesia and analgesic, that were prepared and designated for patient use. Kwiatkowski then filled previously stolen syringes with saline and returned them for the intended patients, subsequently exposing more than 30 patients to his strain of HCV.

Kwiatkowski was arrested in Massachusetts in July and is charged with seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and seven counts of tampering with a consumer product. If convicted, Kwiatkowski could serve up to 4 years in prison for each count of obtaining controlled substances, and up to 10 years for each tampering count. He also could be fined $250,000 for each offense. He currently is in federal custody in New Hampshire, according to The New York Times.

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