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Hospital Tech to Plead Guilty to Causing Hepatitis C Outbreak

Staff Writer3 years ago

David Kwiatkowski faces up to 40 years after agreeing to plead guilty to 14 charges related to an outbreak of hepatitis C that infected 45.

About the Hepatitis C Outbreak

“Instead of receiving the prescribed dose of fentanyl, patients instead received saline tainted by Kwiatkowski's infected blood.” – Statement by U.S. attorneys office in Concord, New Hampshire as published by CNN

  • The hospital technician, who had ties to the Houston Medical Center, caused the outbreak, which reached Kansas, Maryland and George, by injecting himself with painkillers and then re-filling the then tainted needles with saline solution.
  • Although dozens were infected with hepatitis C because of Kwiatkowski, the Boston Globe reports one person actually died with the hepatitis C contraction considered to have played a contributing role in the death.
  • In all, at least 45 patients have been infected with the fatal disease due to Kwiatkowski's actions.

“I'm going to kill a lot of people out of this.”

  • According to an interview with investigators after he was caught, Kwiatkowski was aware he had contracted hepatitis C back in 2010.
  • Nevertheless, he continued to “swap” out—replacing the painkiller fentanyl with saline solution. He later commented that he knew, “I'm going to kill a lot of people out of this.”
  • In exchange for avoiding criminal charges in Georgia, Maryland and Kansas, Kwiatkowski will enter a guilty plea for seven counts of both obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product.
Hepatitis C Serial Infector
  • Kwiatkowski, whom U.S. Attorney John Kacavas described as a “serial infector”, was employed as a “traveler” meaning he was employed by staffing firms who sent him to hospitals all over the country, generally as temporary employment.
  • Per the agreement Kwiatkowski will consent to, he claims he was the only person who had a part in the diversion of drugs at Exeter Hospital where he worked in New Hampshire.
  • Any patients who may have had contact with David Kwiatkowski were notified of this charges and guilty plea by Houston Medical officials via letter. They do not believe, however, he had any connection to a hepatitis C outbreak in Georgia.
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