PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nearly 2,000 patients are being advised to get tested for Hepatitis C.
The warning comes after a man who worked in a hospital in our area was accused of tampering with needles and infecting dozens of people at other hospitals with the disease.
David Kwiatkowski – in jail now – arrested in New Hampshire last month accused of stealing drugs – in the process – infecting at least 30 patients of a New Hampshire hospital with Hepatitis C.
“He was working for a kind of a temp agency that would send people from place to place, so he worked in many different hospitals, probably a half dozen different places over the last couple of years,” Dr. Stephen Morse with Columbia University said.
One of his stops – in 2008 he worked at UPMC Presbyterian for 47 days.
UPMC confirms Kwiatkowski was found in an area where he was not assigned. Officials say they found syringes in his pockets and say a co-worker accused him of taking a syringe with painkiller from an operating room and sticking it down his pants.
UPMC also confirms they reported his positive drug test for fentanyl and other drugs in his system to his employer and fired him.
UPMC also confirms they did not call police because they did not see Kwiatkowski committing a criminal act.
UPMC also says Kwiatkowski then went to work at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia using UPMC as a reference and no one called to check that reference.
Before he was arrested in New Hampshire, co-workers told the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office Kwiatkowski was acting in a bizarre way.
“Observed him sweating, observed him red-faced, bloodshot and according to one witness, unfit to provide medical care,” John Kacavas, U.S. Attorney, said.
Questions being raised by investigators tonight – how could Kwiatkowski work in hospitals in eight states, including stops in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and none of those hospitals knew of his history.