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Friday, July 27, 2012

Hepatitis C 'Serial Infector' Worked in 6 States - Negligence / Other Injuries - Injured

Hepatitis C 'Serial Infector' Worked in 6 States - Negligence / Other Injuries - Injured

.July 23, 2012 2:37 PM PrintText Tech charged as "serial infector" in N.H. hepatitis C outbreak worked in at least 6 states
                                    
Questions: Has Willy Lufsky been committed for over 25 yrs allegedy with Hep C, His Significant Other Charisse Hickerson Krutti with 13 yr  Willy Jr, Charisse is RN in te Pscy Unit of Mercy Hospital????
Heaing July 2012 Charisse is to have a Foster Home License to have Willy out of he System.  Bizzare that the Home previously owned by Willy's Mother Alene now 91 is to be Licensed???????old exeter hospital, hepatitis c, david kwiatkowski



EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInDigg.PrintDeliciousRedditStumbleuponGoogle Bookmarks....By CBS News Staff Topics News ,Disease .

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire shows David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter, N.H., Hospital, arrested at a hospital in Massachusetts where he is receiving medical treatment.

(Credit: AP) (CBS/AP) One of the 30 people believed to have been infected with hepatitis C by a traveling medical technician accused of reusing needles at a New Hampshire hospital's catheterization lab is suing a Nebraska-based health staffing agency.



Lab tech David Kwiatkowski, indicted in N.H. hospital hepatitis C outbreak, denies drug use

Exeter Hospital lab tech indicted in New Hampshire hepatitis C outbreak





Robert Fowler of Seabrook, N.H., was diagnosed with the blood-borne liver-damaging disease in June, 14 months after he underwent a cardiac catheterization at Exeter Hospital. Fowler was treated at the hospital's cardiac lab a month after it hired David Kwiatkowski, 33, who was charged last week with federal drug crimes.



Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from the lab, injecting himself and contaminating syringes that were later used on patients, what's known as "drug diversion."



Though he told investigators he was diagnosed with hepatitis C in May, authorities said there is evidence Kwiatkowski has had the disease since at least June 2010.



In a lawsuit filed Sunday in federal court in Nebraska, Boston lawyer Domenic Paolini alleges that Triage Staffing Inc. was negligent in hiring, employing and supervising Kwiatkowski as a traveling technician and in sending him to Exeter. He argues that Triage should have known of the likelihood that Kwiatkowski would cause harm and that the company intentionally misrepresented his qualifications and employment record.



Triage's president did not return calls seeking comment Friday or Monday.



Former patients of the catheterization lab have also filed lawsuits against Exeter Hospital.





Kwiatkowski, who grew up in Michigan, worked as a "traveler" sent by staffing agencies to hospitals around the country, usually for temporary jobs. Federal prosecutors say he has worked in at least six states since 2007.



Though authorities have not publicly identified all the states, health officials in Michigan, Maryland, Kansas and New York have confirmed his employment. He worked at Exeter Hospital from April 2011 until May, when he was fired after the outbreak was discovered.



A spokesman for The Johns Hopkins Hospital said Kwiatkowski worked in the cardiac catheterization lab at the Baltimore hospital from July 2009 to January 2010. Spokesman Gary Stephenson said the hospital is contacting all patients who may have come in contact with Kwiatkowski to offer them free testing for hepatitis C.



In Michigan, the state Department of Community Health confirmed that Kwiatkowski had worked there, though officials were still figuring out exact locations.



According to court documents, Kwiatkowski told investigators he did not steal drugs, is "not a shooter," and is scared of needles. He also said he was allergic to fentanyl, the anesthetic more powerful than morphine that he's accused of stealing, though medical records indicate he was given the drug during a medical procedure in 2011.





"I did not take any drugs or do any drugs ... and I'm gonna stick to that," he told investigators. When he was told that a syringe bearing a fentanyl label was found in a bag in his vehicle, he said it was not his and suggested that it had been planted by a co-worker.



Former co-workers in other states told investigators that Kwiatkowski was known for telling false stories, including saying that he had cancer. According to court documents, he was fired for falsifying his timesheets at one hospital, was accused of stealing fentanyl from a hospital operating room in 2008 and aroused significant suspicion in Exeter, where co-workers said he sometimes looked like he was "on something."



One co-worker said he recalled seeing a red-faced, red-eyed Kwiatkowski with white foam around his mouth. Others said he was at times shaky, sweaty and looked like he was "on something." When a worker complained, Kwiatkowski told a supervisor he had been up since 3 a.m. crying over his aunt's recent death; his parents later told investigators no relatives had died in the last several years. They also said that while their son took prescription medication and had alcohol and anger problems, he did not use illegal drugs.



Officials at both Exeter Hospital and The Johns Hopkins Hospital said Kwiatkowski underwent drug testing and a criminal background check before being hired.



In a statement Friday, Exeter Hospital said that while employees raised concerns about Kwiatkowski's appearance, none suspected him of diverting medication. In each case, Kwiatkowski provided plausible explanations related to either personal medical issues or family crises, the hospital said.



"David had stories for everything that pulled at your heart strings and we had no reason to disbelieve him," said Dr. Thomas Wharton, who oversees the cardiac catheterization lab. He said he now views Kwiatkowski as "the ultimate con artist and an extremely good cardiac technologist who pulled the wool over everyone's eyes."



The hospital said it performed additional background checks on Kwiatkowski when he was hired into a full-time position in October. Kwiatkowski held the required certification for the job and was given good references from his previous two employers, including one who had said "David has been invaluable in helping us get our lab up and running."



Authorities said Kwiatkowski was not authorized to handle medication at Exeter Hospital but they believe he may have switched syringes that were filled by others and set down with syringes he had used and refilled with another liquid, possibly saline. Colleagues told investigators that Kwiatkowski often came in the lab on his days off or attended procedures he wasn't assigned to, and would bring nurses the lead aprons they wear to protect against radiation exposure.



When asked how the patients had contracted hepatitis C, Kwiatkowski told police, "You know, I'm more concerned about myself, my own well-being."



"I've learned here to just worry about myself," he said. "And that's all I really care about now."



Attorney John Kacavas called Kwiatkowski a "serial infector" in announcing the charges.







15

15 Comments +Add a Comment See all 15 Comments by kelasings July 26, 2012 5:10 AM EDT WHY are they using this image of the guy? This guy is a regular looking white guy. He looks like a black guy in these pictures. Why? I googled and found several good images of the guy. Couldn't the reporters do the same? What he did was horrible, but I hate that they have changed his picture to make him look black when he isn't. It is unnerving.Reply to this comment ...by Martha12345 July 24, 2012 10:06 AM EDT Where do the hospitals find these people ? Under rocks ?Reply to this comment ...by nohater July 24, 2012 2:28 AM EDT if it were my decision, the serial infector would be executed. fortunately for him, it's not my decision. he will beat the legal and justice system and receive little or no punishment.Reply to this comment ...by NoProgress--Dems July 23, 2012 6:32 PM EDT I like to stick him with a needle infected with rabies and then let nature take its course.

What a monstrous POS he is.Reply to this comment ...by DirkGentley July 23, 2012 4:06 PM EDT Um, why are you headlining with such a horrible photo. Are deliberately trying to mislead people about his race? I really hate those kind of conspiracy theories, but when there are much better photos available (see: http://www.thirdage.com/news/tech-in-nh-hepatitis-c-case-worked-in-mich-md_07-23-2012) I just don't know why else you'd take such a misleading photo and run it SO LARGE. Who thought that was a good idea?Reply to this comment ..by tonyatq July 23, 2012 6:09 PM EDT Why is his race important? He harm people that's all that matters. Does everything have to be about race?...by NoProgress--Dems July 23, 2012 6:30 PM EDT The guy is white and Polish. I could see that he was white from the terrible picture.

Dirk sees racism where their is none.....by pineappletoe July 23, 2012 3:57 PM EDT This is one of the things that happen when employers are not allowed to delve into background issues when hiring employees. What is becoming a staple of our now disconnected, do as you please, society. Caveat emptor. While there are certainly employers that will abuse this, most of them just want to find someone who is truthful and represents themselves and their employer well. On the pilot show for NY Med, there was an nurse who got vomit from an AIDS infected/Hepatitis C patient. He was much more worried about getting Hepatitis C than AIDS. This monster has infected numerous innocent victims with his selfishness. I am sympathetic for those who were infected by this beast, and hopeful that this animal will be put down.Reply to this comment ...by TrakerJon July 23, 2012 3:48 PM EDT Looks like he should be charged with multiple counts of criminal negligence...and if someone dies from liver failure; criminally negligent homicide. Maximum sentence, period.Reply to this comment ..by 55minus5 July 23, 2012 4:50 PM EDT If somebody dies... that'l be too late for that person......by chyenna1 July 23, 2012 7:38 PM EDT Why negligent homicide should, God forbid, someone dies? Why not pre-meditated first degee murder? Just asking.....by jjflynn2 July 23, 2012 3:29 PM EDT We don't need Regulations on Healthcare?,,,it will be better for all of us if it is run Privately for profit--UMM NO! vote GOP and make EVERYTHING about the almighty dollar...Reply to this comment ..by TrakerJon July 23, 2012 3:50 PM EDT It already is...just in case you haven't noticed....by realtimecoffee July 24, 2012 1:35 AM EDT Give me a choice between my county hospital and Johns Hopkins, then guess where I'd go.....See all 15 Comments Add a commentLog in or create an account to post a comment. ORQuickly sign in with:

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Hepatitis C 'Serial Infector' Worked in 6 States

By Andrew Lu on July 26, 2012 11:53 AM
No TrackBacks

A travelling medical technician that worked across six states is believed to be a serial infector of hepatitis C.
David Kwiatkowski infected about 30 people with the blood-borne liver-damaging disease over the past several years, authorities say. Kwiatkowski, 33, was allegedly addicted to anesthetic drugs and would inject himself with the needles at the lab. The technician then left the needles in place, where those same needles were used to inject other patients -- infecting them with hepatitis C.

One of the 30 people infected by the disease has now sued the health staffing agency and hospital that hired Kwiatkowski, reports CBS.

In the lawsuit, the infected patient alleges that Triage Staffing Inc. and Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire were negligent in hiring, employing, and supervising Kwiatkowski as a traveling technician. In a negligent employment action, the plaintiff would normally have to show that the employer was careless in hiring the employee and did not perform all the background and drug tests necessary for someone in that position.

For its part, Exeter Hospital says that it performed a criminal background check and required drug testing of Kwiatkowski prior to hiring. In addition, the hospital says that the technician received good references from prior employers. And while co-workers had raised concerns about Kwiatkowski's possible drug use, the hospital says that Kwiatkowski always had a plausible answer.

A judge will have the difficult task of weighing the steps the hospital did take to screen Kwiatkowski and determine if more steps should have been taken to prevent the serial infector from giving 30 people hepatitis C.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


State laws govern the viability of causes of action for medical malpractice. The laws vary in terms of time limits to bring suit, qualifications of "expert" witnesses, cognizable theories of liability, and proper party defendants/proper party plaintiffs. Notwithstanding these differences, there are common requisites for all cases.



First and foremost, a physician must owe a duty to patients before his or her competency in performing that duty can be judged. In U. S. jurisprudence, a person has no affirmative duty to assist injured individuals in the absence of a special relationship with them (such as doctor-patient, attorney-client, guardian-ward, etc.). A doctor dining in a restaurant has no duty to come forward and assist a fellow customer who is suffering a heart attack. If the doctor merely continues with his meal and does nothing to help, the ailing person would not have an action for malpractice against him, not-withstanding their harm. However, once a doctor voluntarily decides to assist others or come to their aid, he or she becomes liable for any injury that results from any negligence during that assistance.



Once the requisite doctor-patient relationship is established, the doctor owes to the patient the duty to render care and treatment with that degree of skill, care, and diligence as possessed by or expected of a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. The "circumstances" include the area of medicine in which the physician practices, the customary or accepted practices of other physicians in the area (the "locality rule"), the level of equipment and facilities available at the time and in that locality, and the exigent circumstances, if any, surrounding the treatment or medical service rendered. The requisite degree of skill and expertise under the circumstances is established by "expert testimony" from other practicing physicians who share the same or similar skill, training, certification, and experience as the allegedly negligent physician.



Vicarious Liability

Finally, a doctor who has been negligent may not be the only defendant in a subsequent lawsuit. A hospital that has retained the doctor on its staff may be vicariously liable for the doctor's negligence under a theory of "respondeat superior" ("let the master answer") that often holds an employer liable for the negligence of its employees. More often, the doctor has "staff privileges" at the hospital, and the hospital will attempt to prove the limited role it plays in directing or supervising the doctor's work. Importantly, many doctors belong to private medical practices, such as limited partnerships or limited liability companies, that also may be vicariously liable for the negligence of their member doctors.

However, a doctor is generally liable for any negligence on the part of his assistants and staff in carrying out his orders or caring for his patients. Likewise, an attending physician is generally liable for any negligence on the part of interns and medical students under the physician's guidance.