Man who spread hepatitis was here
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A medical technician accused of spreading hepatitis C in New Hampshire worked at UPMC Presbyterian for a month and a half in 2008.
Hospital and public health officials are now in the process of identifying and notifying patients who may have been exposed.
"Our records show that David Kwiatkowski was a contract employee who worked at UPMC Presbyterian for 47 days (March 17 - May 7, 2008)," said UPMC in a statement. "He was terminated after being found in an area of the hospital where he was not assigned and we notified his employer, Maxim Staffing Solutions, of this action."
UPMC has not yet determined how many patients will be notified, said spokeswoman Gloria Kreps. Mr. Kwiatkowski worked in interventional radiology and the angiography operating room, she said.
It is not known whether Mr. Kwiatkowski, who was arrested last week for allegedly infecting 30 people with hepatitis C, was positive for the virus at the time.
"Records indicate he tested positive as far back as 2010," said Guillermo Cole, spokesman for the Allegheny County Health Department. "You would have no way of knowing whether he was infected or not [in 2008], but there's certainly the possibility that he could have been positive."
Any patient who is concerned about possible exposure can contact their doctor or their local health department to be tested for hepatitis C, according to the state Department of Health.
Mr. Kwiatkowski was charged last week with fraudulently obtaining drugs and tampering with a consumer product. He is accused of injecting himself with anesthetic drugs that he stole from the hospital where he worked in New Hampshire, and then using the same syringes on patients.
He would replace the drug meant for the patients, Fentanyl, with another substance such as a saline solution.
Thirty patients thus far have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C carried by Mr. Kwiatkowski, and more cases are possible.
He has worked in multiple hospitals in at least six different states since 2007. He worked at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia in April of 2010, also through a temp agency, and officials there are also notifying patients.
First Published July 27, 2012 12:00 am