By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun
10:05 PM EDT, July 20, 2012
Four Maryland hospitals will be contacting patients who might have come in contact with a health care worker infected with hepatitis C when he worked in the state between 2008 and 2010, according to the state health department.
David Matthew Kwiatkowski, 32, who worked as a health technician, was arrested Thursday in New Hampshire, according to a statement on the FBI website. He was charged with illegally obtaining Fentanyl, a powerful anesthetic, and with infecting at least 30 people with hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire, the FBI said.
Kwiatkowski worked in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Exeter Hospital during an outbreak of hepatitis, a blood-borne viral infection that can cause liver damage and lead to chronic health problems.
Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing syringes containing narcotics intended for patients, injecting himself and then putting another substance such as saline into the syringe, the FBI said. The patients were then injected with the saline instead of the drug.
There is no evidence that Kwiatkowski was infected with hepatitis before June 2010, when he tested positive, according to Maryland health officials. It is not known whether he was a risk to patients in Maryland or whether he infected anyone in the state.
He worked in four hospitals: the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center from May 2008 to November 2008; Southern Maryland Hospital from December 2008 to February 2009; Johns Hopkins Hospital from July 2009 to January 2010 and Maryland General Hospital from January 2010 to March 2010.
He then moved to New Hampshire.
Kwiatkowski was arrested at a hospital in Massachusetts where he is receiving medical treatment
The Maryland hospitals will notify patients who underwent certain procedures such as cardiac catheterization, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Hepatitis C can be detected with blood tests.
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