A former employee of Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire was arrested today on federal charges related to a Hepatitis-C outbreak that has infected at least 30 people, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
David Matthew Kwiatkowski, 32, was charged with tampering with a consumer product and obtaining controlled substances by fraud, prosecutors said. Kwiatkowski, who worked in the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab from April, 2011, to May, 2012, faces up to 24 years behind bars.
“We have eliminated the menace this ‘serial infector’ posed to public health and safety,” New Hampshire District U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas said in a statement.
The hospital released a statement......
today released the following statement after news broke that one of its employees was arrested
for allegedly causing a hepatitis C outbreak:
At 2:00 pm today the US Attorney’s Office announced they have arrested David Matthew Kwiatkowski for his involvement in the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.
David Kwiatkowski began working at Exeter Hospital in April of 2011 as a temporary employee, otherwise known as a “traveler.” As with all travelers at Exeter Hospital, pre-employment drug testing and standard and criminal background checks were performed. He was hired into a regular full-time position as a Cardiovascular Tech in our Cardiac Catheterization Lab in October of 2011, where he worked until he was placed on leave at the onset of the investigation in May, and then was later terminated.
We understand there is a great deal of public interest in this situation; however, as this remains an ongoing criminal investigation, we are unable to comment on any of the details related to the case. In addition to being a former employee, David Kwiatkowski has also been a patient of Exeter Hospital which further limits our ability to comment more specifically.
The indictment is a critical milestone in this incredibly difficult and painful situation. It is the result of extraordinarily thorough and complex investigations on the part of Exeter Hospital and numerous state and federal agencies. Exeter Hospital has done everything it can to support these ongoing investigations including providing some of the specific information about Kwiatkowski’s suspicious actions noted in the US Attorney’s press release. We want to thank the dedicated experts from each of these agencies who helped with this tragic matter.
“It is deeply disturbing that the alleged callous acts of one individual can have such an impact on so many innocent lives. As a result of his alleged actions, people in our community, who in many cases are the friends and neighbors of the 2,300 people who work here, now face the challenge of a potentially chronic disease,” said Kevin Callahan, president and CEO of Exeter Hospital. Exeter Hospital also recognizes the disruption this has created for over 1,100 individuals who have had their lives unnecessarily interrupted by the required testing.
Callahan noted; “Even in the middle of this crisis, our 2,300 employees and affiliated medical staff have continued to selflessly care for thousands of people who have continued to seek treatment at the hospital over the last several months.”
The events of the past several months have demonstrated that no healthcare organization can rest in its pursuit of the highest possible quality and safety for its patients. Even the best systems and nationally accepted protocols can be corrupted by actions driven by illegal intent.
Wow.....frightening. This guy is a traveler.....they are checking other states.