FBI — ‘Serial Infector’ Gets 39 Years for Hepatitis C Outbreak
The vast majority of health care professionals are dedicated individuals committed to their patients. But in a recent investigation, we came across a hospital worker who was more committed to his own selfish needs than to his patients—he knowingly put patients at risk of exposure to the hepatitis C virus so he could steal and abuse a powerful narcotic prescribed for use during medical procedures.
David Kwiatkowski—who pled guilty to a scheme to divert and obtain the controlled substance fentanyl as well as to product tampering, was sentenced earlier this month to 39 years in prison. Because of Kwiatowski’s actions, at least 45 people became infected with hepatitis C, a virus that attacks the liver and may cause liver damage, liver failure, or cancer. At least one patient died as a result of the infection.
You see, Kwiatkowski himself was infected with hepatitis C. And he admitted that while employed at a New Hampshire hospital and at hospitals in several other states, he stole syringes of fentanyl prepared for patients about to undergo medical procedures, injected himself with the drug, and refilled those same syringes with saline—tainting them with his hepatitis C-positive blood—for use on unsuspecting victims. As a trained health care worker, Kwiatkowski would have known that hepatitis C, a blood-borne viral disease, is primarily transmitted by exposure to infected blood.