N.H. Department of Health postpones hepatitis C testing
Patient Safety Monitor Insider
July 31, 2012
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced a delay in hepatitis C testing clinics scheduled for this past weekend due to “several factors that had the potential to compromise the operation,” according to a press release on the DHHS website. The clinics were intended for the nearly 3,400 patients who may have been infected in relation to the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter (N.H.) Hospital, where a former lab technician allegedly stole syringes of anesthetics, injected himself with the drugs, and refilled the empty syringes for use on patients.
The lab technician, who has since been identified as David Kwiatkowski, is accused of infecting 31 people at Exeter Hospital. He was a temporary employee and had previously worked in at least eight other hospitals, leading health officials to fear widespread infection across several states. Massachusetts police arrested Kwiatkowski on July 19, and he now faces up to 24 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine for each offense.