Medical technicians would have to register with the state under a bill passed Wednesday by the New Hampshire House. The measure was prompted by an outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital, where an employee reused needles on patients resulting in 32 infections. The employee had been accused of drug diversion at similar hospitals but continued to gain employment.
The criminal case of a traveling medical technician who infected dozens of patients with hepatitis C through tainted syringes is pushing individual hospitals, state lawmakers and federal officials to close the loopholes he exploited.
David Kwiatkowski entered the federal courtroom in shackles, wearing a Strafford County Department of Corrections jumpsuit. The 34-year defendant looked heavier than last July, when he was arrested on 14 federal charges, including tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
When asked by the judge why he changed his plea, the clean shaven Kwiatkowski said, “Because I’m guilty.”
A former hospital employee charged with spreading Hepatitis C in New Hampshire and seven other states is pleading guilty to federal charges.
34-year old David Kwiatkowski was arrested last July for stealing syringes filled with fentanyl, a powerful pain medication. Officials say he would inject himself and then reuse the needles on patients inside Exeter Hospital, infecting at least 32 people with Hepatitis C.
Facing 14 federal charges including tampering with a consumer product and illegally obtaining controlled substances, Kwiatkowski is changing his plea to guilty.
State public health officials today released their final report looking into the outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital. The document provides new information into just what took place inside the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, where a former employee stands accused of stealing narcotics and returning tainted needles.
NHPR’s Todd Bookman tells All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson about the important new information in the case.
State public health officials say another person has tested positive for Hepatitis C stemming from last year’s outbreak at Exeter Hospital.
That brings the total number to 33.
A former hospital employee was arrested last July in connection with the spread of the virus inside the cardiac catheterization lab. Prosecutors say David Kwiatkowski reused syringes on patients after injecting himself with powerful pain killers.
Dr. Jose Montero, the state’s public health director, says it appears this latest case, though, is from sexual contact.
Federal prosecutors say it could take a year or more before a trial in the Hepatitis C outbreak case begins. On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted 33-year old David Kwiatkowski on 14 charges, including tampering with a consumer product.
The former Exeter Hospital employee is accused of stealing syringes of a powerful pain medication, injecting himself, and then reusing the needles on patients.
U.S. Attorney John Kacavas says the FBI and members of law enforcement continue to investigate the case.
In a press conference at Exeter Hospital today, lawyers called the state’s request for broad access to medical records a government overreach. The state continues to investigate the Hepatitis C outbreak.
In August, Exeter Hospital filed a protective order in Merrimack Superior Court. It’s seeking to block the state’s request for broad access to patient medical records.
Patient privacy has become the latest front in the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.
As part of their ongoing investigation, the State’s Division of Public Health is seeking access to the private health records of Exeter patients. But the Hospital says the request violates privacy laws, and is asking the courts to intervene.