Healthcare News & Insights

Hepatitis C outbreak: Former hospital worker indicted

David Kwiatkowski, the man known as the “serial infector,” was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of illegally obtaining drugs. His trial is scheduled for February, but will likely be delayed due to the complexity of the case.

As previously reported, Kwiatkowski was a traveling hospital technician who worked in at least six states since 2007.

His last job was in New Hampshire at Exeter Hospital, where he worked as a cardiac technologist from April 2011 to May 2012. And despite 32 patients being diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries, Kwiatkowski pleaded not guilty to the original allegations he infected these patients with the disease and started the hepatitis C outbreak.

Accusations

According to federal prosecutors, Kwiatkowski stole syringes filled with the drug fentanyl, a powerful painkiller, and injected himself with the medication that was intended for cardiac patients. He then refilled the syringes with saline solution and returned them so they would later be used by unsuspecting staffers on patients.

He went as far as to accuse a co-worker of planting a syringe with a fentanyl label in his vehicle.

The traveling tech has admitted to lying, and told investigators that he has lied to a lot of people and “fabricated my life.”

His co-workers also corroborated that Kwiatkowski lied. In fact, they say he was known for telling tall tales, such as he had cancer.

While Kwiatkowski says he was just diagnosed with hepatitis C in May, there is evidence he’s been infected since June 2010.

Background check

According to the affidavit, Kwiatkowsk was fired from one hospital for falsifying his time sheets and in 2008 he was accused of stealing fentanyl  from a hospital operating room.

And co-workers at Exeter Hospital attested to seeing Kwiatkowski  shaky, sweating, with a red face and red eyes. But every time he was reported to a supervisor, he had a viable explanation related to a personal or family issue.

If Kwiatkowski if convicted of all 14 counts, he faces up to 98 years in prison. We’ll keep you posted on the case.

 

 

 

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