Medical Technician Potentially Exposed Hundreds to Hepatitis C - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
A medical technician has been accused of using syringes from hospitals that contained the prescription painkiller fentanyl. He would then replace the drug with saline solution before using the same needles on patients. David Kwiatkowski tested positive for hepatitis C, which he allegedly spread to patients through the used syringes.
He had lost his job at an Arizona hospital after he was found unresponsive in the bathroom with a needle and syringe. He was given a drug test, which revealed cocaine and marijuana in his system. Kwiatkowski left Arizona, which ended the investigation, and he was subsequently hired at several different hospitals. His actions have left patients in at least 7 states concerned about their health safety.
Leslie Aiken, a Nursing professor at University of Pennsylvania said: "We don't have overall standards for med techs that are anywhere near our national standards for doctors and nurses," . Kwiatkowski has been charged with tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance through fraud. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he was not aware that he was carrying hepatitis C.