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Medical Worker Tied To Hepatitis C Outbreak Briefly Worked At Temple Hospital

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By Kim Glovas, Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two hospitals in Pennsylvania, including Temple Univesity Hospital, are working to notify patients who may have had contact with a technician who had hepatitis C.

Dr. Stephen Ostroff, acting physican general in Pennsylvania, says itinerant medical technician David Kwiatkowski was arrested in New Hampshire last week, acused of stealing syringes filled with Fentanyl — a powerful anesthesic — then returning the used, contaminated empties.

Ostroff says a patient outbreak of hepatitis C led to the FBI getting involved in the investigation.

“Some patients that had received care at a single hospital were identified with hepatitis C.  They all led back to the same location in the hospital in New Hampshire, which was the cardiac cathaterization laboratory,” Ostroff tells KYW Newsradio.

The suspect worked at Temple University Hospital from April 7th through 30th, 2010.  Temple says it is looking into Kwiatkowki’s work records and trying to determine where he worked and which patients he had contact with.   Officials there say he may have contracted hepatitis C after his time there.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says Kwiatkowski also had a brief assignment at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian in 2008.

Authorities in New Hampshire say 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.

Health officials in Michigan, Maryland, Kansas, and New York say he also worked in their states.

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