Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Investigation of Potential Hepatitis C Exposure Associated with Hays Medical Center

The Hays Medical Center, associated with the potential exposure of the hepatitis c virus, is under investigation. As of October of 2012, 474 patients have potentially been exposed, 416 are available for testing and 391 have submitted specimens. 374 patients have had negative results of hepatitis c and there are 6 people with the infection genetically closely related to the current outbreak. The investigation is still ongoing.

The investigation of patients who could have hepatitis c is a multi-stage process. Patients are first checked to see to see if they have the antibodies to the hepatitis c virus. Those who test positive for the antibodies are then tested to see if they have an active HCV infection present. Patients who test positive for an active infection then get tested to determine the genotype and subtype they have, this helps health care providers to guide patient care. Last, the patients with an active infection are tested to see if their infection is genetically related to other New Hampshire patients and patients at the Hays Medical Center which is associated with the outbreak.

The current outbreak of hepatitis c is linked back to a traveling medical technician, David Kwiatkowski. Kwiatkowski was first employed at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by a staffing agency back in 2008. He was observed by other employees stealing syringes and placing used syringes with saline back on patient's trays. The staff at UPMC Presbyterian also found more syringes in his pockets and in his locker. They found Fentanyl in his system and he had tested positive for hepatitis c. He was fired but officials were never informed. Kwiatkowski went on to work at other hospitals in New Hampshire, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, New York, Maryland and Michigan. Letters were sent out to patients who may have come in contact with David Kwiatkowski.

View the investigation results here.

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