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Another added to list of hep C victims from alleged drug abuser at Exeter Hospital

By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 15. 2012 7:04PM



State public health officials on Wednesday confirmed another person treated at Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization laboratory tested positive for the same strain of hepatitis C linked to the former drug-addicted employee accused of contaminating syringes - bringing to 32 the number of patients infected in the outbreak.

This patient's procedure occurred before radiology technician David Kwiatkowski, 31, began working at Exeter Hospital, though Kwiatkowski was working at the hospital at the time of the patient's discharge, public health officials said.

Kwiatkowski is accused of injecting himself with syringes filled with the painkiller fentanyl that were intended for patients, refilling the syringes with saline or other substances and putting them back for use on patients. He also tested positive for the strain of hepatitis C.

'As we hare stated previously, this is a complex investigation with many moving pieces,' state epidemiologist Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis said in a statement.

'This is yet another new development and as we have done thus far, we will continue to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding this infection. Part of that will include determining if the former health care worker might have infected this patient during the time they were both at the hospital,' she said.

'To rule out that any other staff was involved, we have recommended testing of certain Exeter Hospital employees,' she added.

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Kathryn Marchocki may be reached at kmarchocki@unionleader.com.


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