Tech charged in hepatitis C outbreak worked at Temple

PHILADELPHIA - July 26, 2012

David Kwiatkowski had brief assignments at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian in 2008 and Temple University Hospital in 2010, Pennsylvania Department of Health officials said.

Officials said patients who underwent procedures that may have involved Kwiatkowski at UPMC Presbyterian from March 17 to May 7, 2008, or Temple University Hospital from April 7 to April 30, 2010, will be contacted and encouraged to get tested for the blood-borne disease.

"We are working closely with both hospitals to conduct a targeted investigation and ensure all affected parties are properly notified about their potential exposure to the disease," said health secretary Dr. Eli Avila.

State and local health departments do not currently know of any cases of hepatitis C transmission in Pennsylvania related to Kwiatkowski and are continuing to investigate in cooperation with the two hospitals as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Avila said.

Authorities in New Hampshire said Kwiatkowski injected himself with anesthetic drugs stolen from a lab at Exeter Hospital, contaminating syringes later used on patients. Thirty patients have been diagnosed with the strain of hepatitis C that Kwiatkowski carries.

In a statement, Temple confirmed that Kwiatkowski worked in the hospital's interventional radiology department and added that he may have been infected with hepatitis C after his employment there.

"Nevertheless, we will continue to conduct a thorough investigation of this matter," the hospital said.

UPMC said in a written statement that it was also working to identify patients who may have come in contact with Kwiatkowski, who "was terminated after being found in an area of the hospital where he was not assigned." The hospital did not elaborate.

Health officials in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan and New York said Kwiatkowski also has worked in their states.

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