CONCORD, N.H.—Authorities yesterday arrested a 33-year-old medical technician and charged him with spreading hepatitis C to 30 patients through the use of stolen hospital drugs.
The man, David Matthew Kwiatkowski, is charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas announced today at a news conference in Concord, N.H.
"Our investigation remains open and very much active, and I want to stress that we are closer to the beginning of our investigation than we are to the end of it," Kacavas said.
Kwiatkowski is a traveling medical technician and has worked in at least seven hospitals since 2007. Authorities say he spread hepatitis C by stealing syringes of the pain-killer fentanyl, injecting himself with them, and then filling the syringes with a different liquid. These tampered syringes were then allegedly used on patients.
Kwiatkowski was arrested in Massachusetts.
"With Kwiatkowski's arrest today, this serial infector has been contained and the menace he posed to public health and safety has been removed," Kacavas said.
Kwiatkowski has worked on a contract basis in several cardiac catheterization laboratories, according to an in-depth article in Foster's Daily Democrat, a New Hampshire newspaper. To read the article, click here.
Kwiatkowski's case is eerily similar to a scandal that rocked the endoscopy industry a few years ago. Between 2008 and 2009, a Denver technician named Kristen Parker was using fentanyl syringes on herself, and filling them with saline solution. Parker was infected with hepatitis and spread her illness through the syringes. She was convicted in 2010.
To learn more about medical scandals, including Parker's case, view the slide show "Top Endoscopy Scandals of the 21st Century," here.