Published by Forbes.com
The Tennessee Health Department reported that the number of cases of fungal meningitis in Tennessee has increased to 80, the number of deaths remains at 13. The current outbreak, which is not contagious has sickened over 400 and killed over 30 in 19 states. Fungal meningitis occurs when a fungus enters the body and affects the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord lining. The current outbreak is being linked to contaminated vials of methylprednisolone acetate, steroids injected for back pain.
On September 3, 2012, Attorney William Caroselli and Attorney Lynne Johnson of Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman in Kansas City filed a lawsuit in Pittsburgh against UPMC Presbyterian, Maxim Staffing Solutions, Inc., and Medical Solutions, LLC, for medical negligence.
Attorney Bill Caroselli and his client Linda Ficken were interviewed today by Andy Sheehan of KDKA about the lawsuit they filed today against UPMC.
As reported in the Baltimore Sun today in an article titled Patient sues over hepatitis C exposure, a Kansas woman, represented by Attorney William Caroselli and Lynne Johnson is suing UPMC, Maxim Staffing Solutions, Inc., and Medical Solutions LLC. The lawsuit says that inaction by UPMC and Maxim has led to multiple instances of illicit behavior by Mr. Kwiatkowski, including the contamination of syringes used by the accused hospital technician. By not taking immediate action and reporting the illicit behavior, UPMC and Maxim had enabled David Kwiatkowski to seek employment at multiple hospitals in as many as seven different states, including Maryland, New Hampshire, Michigan, Kansas, New York, Arizona and Pennsylvania. In addition, Medical Solutions' failure to perform a thorough background or monitor his on the job performance allowed David Kwiatkowski to continue working at various hospitals across the country and put potentially thousands of patients at risk of contracting Hepatitis C, a viral disease known to cause chronic liver and health problems.
Today in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Kansas residents Linda and William Ficken filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against UPMC Presbyterian, Maxim Staffing Solutions, Inc., and Medical Solutions, LLC, for negligence that lead to Mrs. Ficken's infection with hepatitis C.
An article posted in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette titled "Hospital tech's arrest sets off hepatitis scare, shows flaws in system," outlines the systemic errors in UPMC's management system and practices with regard to patient safety and healthcare professional hiring practices. The article points to questionable practices that allegedly put patients at risk of infection of Hepatitis C and potentially other diseases. This article comes after the arrest of former UPMC employee Mr. David Kwiatkowski.
In 2008, radiology technician David Kwiatkowski was a few weeks into a temporary job at the UPMC Presbyterian when a co-worker accused him of lifting a syringe containing an addictive painkiller from an operating room and sticking it down his pants. A drug test showed that he had fentanyl and other opiates in his system and more syringes were found in his pockets and locker.
"UPMC sends hepatitis letters to 2,000 patients" according to boston.com this morning. The hospital sent the letters in response to actions taken by former employee Mr. David Kwiatkowski. Mr. Kwiatkowski was fired by UPMC for infecting multiple patients at its UPMC Presbyterian hospital withhepatitis C. According to the article, Mr. Kwiatkowski was arrested in New Hampshire where he is accused of infecting patients with the disease.
Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that "UPMC sets up call center in hepatitis C case." The article provides information for patients infected with hepatitis C and includes a phone number to their call center. The call center has been established in response to the actions taken by a former hospital technician employed at UPMC Presbyterian in 2008. The employee, Mr. David Kwiatkowski, has been accused of infecting patients at UPMC Presbyterian with hepatitis C after knowingly replacing and refilling infected syringes. Mr. Kwiatkowski may be facing similar accusations while working at hospitals and healthcare facilities in Kansas, New York, Michigan, Maryland and New Hampshire.