Man accused of infecting patients with hepatitis C linked to four Detroit area hospitals

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Four Detroit area hospitals have been linked to a healthcare worker recently arrested for infecting patients with hepatitis C.

The Michigan Department of Community Health confirms that David Kwiatkowski previously worked in at least six Michigan facilities from 2003-2007. He has been infected with hepatitis C since at least June 2010.

Kwiatkowski tested negative for hepatitis C while employed at one local hospital. This allowed the MDCH to exclude this hospital and one additional facility from further investigation.

Identified Michigan hospitals include:

  • Sinai Grace Hospital from June 2005 to October 2005
  • Harper Hospital from October 2005 to September 2006
  • University of Michigan Hospital from September 11 to December 8 2006
  • Oakwood Annapolis Hospital from January 15 2007 to September 15 2007

Kwitakowski was arrested recently in New Hampshire for allegedly obtaining injectable narcotics and infecting patients with the hepatitis C virus.

Hepatitis C is a bloodborne viral infection, estimated to infect 1.6 percent of the U.S. population. It can cause inflammation of the liver that may lead to chronic health issues.

The MDCH says that anyone who was a patient at one or more of the above facilities during the identified time periods and received an injectable narcotic may be at risk.

They recommend contacting the facility and your primary care provider regarding hepatitis C testing.

"Hepatitis C is a chronic condition that can damage the liver for many years without noticeable symptoms," said Dean Sienko, Interim Chief Medical Executive of the MDCH. "Our goal of recommending testing is to ensure the appropriate use of the modern medicine now available to prevent deaths from hepatitis. In order to help potentially affected individuals, we are asking patients to get tested to protect their health."

 

In a statement Oakwood Annapolis said, "We have no indication this technician had Hepatitis C during his employment or that any patients contracted the disease as a result of his employment. In addition, he participated in at least two drug tests during his tenure, both of which showed negative results for illicit drug use."

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Suzanne White spoke to 7 Action News Monday afternoon. "Our primary concern is the health of our communities so when we were informed that there was an investigation ongoing we began fully participating and we continue to do so," said Dr. White.

In a statement, University of Michigan Health System said, "The investigation has not uncovered evidence that the individual was, in fact, infected with hepititus C while employed at UMHS or any other Michigan facility."

Like Oakwood Annapolis and University of Michigan Health System, DMC does not believe the suspect was infected at the time he worked at the facilities.

For questions and information about hepatitis C, please visit the MDCH website at www.michigan.gov/hivstd or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis .

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