In an act of negligence and callousness, a former Hepatitis C lab technician from a New Hampshire hospital reportedly infected patients with hepatitis c. He will plead guilty for the crime. The path of infection involved the employee's dirty syringes left behind for reuse with hospital patients. He admitted to stealing painkillers to inject himself. David Kwiatkowski, 33, admitted that he was aware of his poor health and that he had Hepatitis C. He affirmed his guilty plea to 14 criminal counts and to infecting patients ranging from 40 to 80 years of age.
A traveling medical technician accused of causing a Hepatitis C (pictured) outbreak in New Hampshire and possibly six other states, left a suicide note stating he “couldn’t handle this stress anymore” a week before being arrested while trying to apparently take his own life.
Kwiatkowski was arrested last year in July and court documents showed that he told that his casual approach to the use of needles could kill many people by infecting them with hepatitis c.
The most recent infection in the United States of America occurred in exeter hospital NH in 2012, the accused stole syringes of Fentanyl, a potent pain medicine. Employees of the hospital used the same needles that Kwiatkowski used without knowing that they had been used.
Court documents showed that Mr. Kwiatkowski was not only involved in fifty infections in Exeter, but he also swapped syringes approximately twenty times at a Kansas hospital and thirty times from a Georgia hospital.
The charges set before Mr. Kwiatkowski suggest sentencing periods will be from 30-40 years. He has admitted his guilt to seven counts of fraudulently acquiring controlled substances according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"This development marks another step on the road to justice for this defendant and for his many victims," United States Attorney John P. Kacavas was quoted as saying by Yahoo News. "Tragically, for his victims the defendant's admissions of guilt are too little, too late."
Following his status as an employee at Exeter in 2011, health authorities in New Hampshire came to know about unfathomable cases of Hepatitis C. When Exeter staff conducted an investigation, they figured out that the infection could be traced back to the health technician's drugs. At the time, he had denied having Hepatitis C.
"It was all me," he added saying, "And I'm going to kill a lot of people out of this. ... I'm killing a lot of people, " the Toronto Sun reported.
In a state of addiction, dated back to 2008, the defendant moved from hospital to hospital when he was found stealing medicine. Mr. Kwiatkowski was fired from his job at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre in May 2008. Two weeks later he worked at VA Medical Centre in Baltimore, Maryland.
ABC News' head health and medical editor, was quoted as saying by "Good Morning America" "Anyone who was in the hospitals where he was working there is potentially at risk. We're talking tens of thousands of people."
How do you get infected with Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is responsible for causing liver damage and many other health problems and can be deadly since it compromises the immune response system. Typically, patients with the Acquired Immune Deficiency Virus develop Hepatitis C as a result of their inability to resist infections and disease.
Hepatitis c transmission occurs through intravenous drug use, although blood transfusions and unsafe medical techniques can also present a problem in developing countries.
Medical workers say that the risk of infection for Hepatitis C is greater if the wound is deeper and the needle used is hollow. Often hepatitis is asymptomatic and is left untreated. However, hepatitic c symptoms may include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, jaundice, fatigue, and itching. Other symptoms of hepatitic c may include vomiting, abdominal pain (especially in the right upper quadrant), joint pain, muscle pain,flu-like symptoms, fatigue, intermittent low-grade fevers, sleep disturbances, nausea, appetite changes,dyspepsia or impaired digestion, headaches depression, cognitive changes, and mood swings.
Hepatitis c treatment involves a combination of antiviral drugs, but has a success rate of just 1%.
Incidentally, Egypt has the highest rate of Hep C infection from dental procedures. Most problems facing such developing countries is improper use of medical instruments and reuse of syringes. Apart from reused needles, multi use of medicine vials, lack of sterilization of surgical procedures and infusion bags are also contributors to Hep C infection.
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