Concord, NH — A New Hampshire medical technician has been charged for a hepatitis C outbreak that infected more than 30 patients at a hospital.
A federal grand jury indicted 33-year-old David Kwiatkowski, a former radiology technician, on seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.
Prosecutors alleged that Kwiatkowski, who is infected with hepatitis C, stole syringes from Exeter Hospital and used them on himself before placing them for use on patients. He tested positive for hepatitis C in June 2010.
He faces a possible sentence of 98 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
The news report about the case said Kwiatkowski worked as a laboratory technician at several hospitals across the country.
A hospital in Pittsburgh where Kwiatkowski previously worked sent letters to 2,000 patients warning that he may have infected them with hepatitis C. Four hospitals in Maryland are testing 1,700 patients for the infection.
A July report said Kwiatkowski may have infected “tens of thousands” of patients in at least 13 hospitals.
Dr. Richard Besser told ABC News:
“If he knew that he was infected and he put those needles back on the shelf, that is the definition of evil. Anyone who was in those hospitals when he was working there is potentially at risk. We’re talking tens of thousands of people.”
Exeter Hospital had to defend itself against the accusations that it had not done enough to stop the spread of the disease. Officials said the hospital performed all required criminal background checks and drug testing.