US tech accused of infecting 30 with hepatitis C

by HOLLY RAMER

(AP) — A traveling U.S. hospital technician accused of infecting 30 people with hepatitis C with tainted needles told investigators he "lied to a lot of people" but denied taking or selling drugs.

David Kwiatkowski was arrested Thursday at a Massachusetts hospital where he was receiving treatment. Once he is well enough to be released, he will be transferred to New Hampshire to face federal charges, said U.S. Attorney John Kacavas.

He called Kwiatkowski, 33, a "serial infector" who worked in at least half a dozen states.

Authorities are investigating whether Kiwatkowski also exposed earlier patients to the liver-destroying disease.

An FBI affidavit said Kwiatkowsi told police on July 2 he first became aware of his own C diagnosis in May. Kacavas, however, said there is evidence Kwiatkowski had the liver-destroying disease since at least June 2010.

Investigators believe Kwiatkowski stole syringes containing fentanyl, a powerful anesthetic more potent than morphine, and injected himself with them. They said he then put another liquid, such as saline, into the syringes, which were later used for patients. They said a search of his vehicle found an empty fentanyl syringe and several needles.

"I did not take any drugs or do any drugs ... and I'm gonna stick to that," Kwiatkowski told investigators.

Kwiatkowski was what is known as a "traveler," a technician hired by hospitals for temporary stints around the country.

is a blood-borne viral infection that can cause liver disease and chronic health issues. Altogether, 31 people, including Kwiatkowski, have tested positive for the same strain of the disease since the investigation began in late May.

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

3 states investigating hep C-infected scrub tech

Jul 17, 2009

(AP) -- Hundreds more patients have been advised to get tested for hepatitis C as health officials in two more states launched investigations into an infected Colorado surgery tech who allegedly swapped clean ...

Scrub tech may have exposed thousands to hepatitis

Jul 03, 2009

(AP) -- A former surgery technician may have exposed thousands of Colorado patients to hepatitis C when she swapped her own dirty syringes for ones filled with a powerful narcotic, federal authorities said Thursday.

Colo. scrub tech hears charges in hepatitis C case

Jul 07, 2009

(AP) -- A Denver hospital said Monday it has asked every patient who had surgery there over a six-month period to come in for a blood test amid allegations that a former technician exposed up to 6,000 people to hepatitis ...

Scrub tech causes major hepatitis scare in Colo.

Jul 12, 2009

(AP) -- Kimberly Spencer's 9-year-old son went to Audubon Ambulatory Surgery Center last month for what was supposed to be a routine surgery. The rambunctious child stuck a BB in his ear and doctors had to ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone to miss target for beating Ebola: UN

21 minutes ago

The United Nations' Ebola response mission admitted Thursday it was going to miss its target for beating the deadly epidemic in Sierra Leone due to a chronic shortage of hospital beds.

Global Ebola toll rises to 5,689: WHO

4 hours ago

The World Health Organization said Thursday that the global death toll from the Ebola virus had increased to 5,689 out of a total of 15,935 cases of infection, mainly in western Africa.

Ebola vaccine promising in first human trials

15 hours ago

Researchers say they're a step closer to developing an Ebola vaccine, with a Phase 1 trial showing promising results, but it will be months at the earliest before it can be used in the field.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.