Rogue Medic Sparks Hep. C Alert

Rogue Medic Sparks Hep. C Alert

By Chrisanne Grise 07/26/12

Health officials scramble to test thousands of patients as a medical technician is charged with contaminating syringes in New Hampshire. 

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Alleged painkiller addict David Kwiatkowski
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Thousands of patients across the country may have been exposed to hepatitis C from a traveling medical technician, who is now facing criminal charges in New Hampshire. Authorities say David Kwiatkowski injected himself with painkillers meant for patients at Exeter Hospital and then left the syringes for reuse. As of now, 30 people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hep. C that he carries. About 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone have been asked to get tested, and health officials are advising that anyone who was a patient of the hospital between April 2011 and May 25 of this year get checked out. “As health care providers, our focus is first and foremost on our patients’ care and safety,” says Nancy Baese, president of the hospital’s medical staff. “We would rather that thousands of our patients be tested by the state, even if they all turn up negative, than to miss one patient who might have been infected by this alleged criminal.” Kwiatkowski also held jobs in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices, AbsolutePunk.net, Chorus.fm, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.

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