(AP) - A Michigan man is accused of having caused a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire after federal officials said that he intentionally let dirty needles be used on patients under his care.
Federal authorities suspect 33-year-old David Kwiatowski, from Canton, of spreading the virus to 30 other people at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire where he worked as a lab technician.
"He knew he had Hepatitis C since at least June of 2010. He continued to divert drugs and permit tainted syringes to be used by patients," said U.S Attorney John Kacavas. Kacavas said he was charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product
Kwiatowski worked at Exeter from April 2011 until June 2012 when the hospital terminated him. Before New Hampshire, he worked in six other states including here in his home state of Michigan. Officials have not released the names of other health care facilities that he has worked at in the past. Around the same time that he is accused of stealing drugs he posted on his Facebook wall, "Ugh can't sleep body hurts !!!" The rest of his page depicts him as a fun guy who likes to hang out with his friends at Tigers games and take care of his dog.
Officials said Kwiatowski stole syringes of fentanyl, an opiate more powerful than morphine, that were about to be used on patients, and injected himself with the drug, and then replaced the used syringe with saline solution to conceal his theft. The dirty needles were then used on unsuspecting patients.
"A search of Kwiatkowski's vehicle pursuant to a search warrant recently uncovered several needles and a fentanyl syringe that has markings that strongly suggest that it emanated from the Exeter hospital," said U.S. Attorney Kacavas.
When we tried to talk to his parents who still live in Canton, someone shut the garage door on us and refused to answer the door when we knocked several times.
Authorities picked up Kwiatkowski at a hotel in Massachusetts and then took him to a hospital there to be treated for his Hepatitis C. When he is discharged federal officials will take him into custody.