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Man in Hepatitis Case Fired For Reusing His Dirty Needles on Patients

Jul-29-2012


Man in NH hepatitis case fired in Pa., Ariz.
(topic overview)

CONTENTS:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A traveling medical technician accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire wrote a suicide note saying he "couldn't handle this stress anymore" the week before his arrest, according to a police report. (More...)
The New Hampshire hospital lab technician indicted last week for infecting 31 people with Hepatitis C might have infected "tens of thousands" of patients in at least 13 hospitals, ABC News has learned. (More...)
Authorities want to know if the technician exposed two Arizona hospital's patients to the virus while working there in 2009 and 2010. (More...)
Veach said HaysMed could not comment on Kwiatkowski, a former contract radiology technologist while at the hospital, due to pending charges. (More...)
Hepatitis C can be transmitted through exposure to blood or blood products and is easily diagnosed through a blood or saliva sample. (More...)
The hospital encourages to have blood drawn Mondays through Thursdays at the Quest site, 2501 Canterbury. (More...)
Exeter, in a statement, said it conducted a background check and took other steps before hiring Kwiatkowski full time. (More...)

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A traveling medical technician accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire wrote a suicide note saying he "couldn't handle this stress anymore" the week before his arrest, according to a police report. David Kwiatkwoski was arrested July 19 at a Massachusetts hospital six days after police found him apparently impaired in a hotel room scattered with prescription pills, according to police in Marlborough, Mass. Kwiatkowski is being held on federal drug charges in New Hampshire, and authorities are trying to determine if he spread the virus in seven other states. Though federal authorities previously indicated that Kwiatkowski might have tried to harm himself in the days before his arrest July 19, the Marlborough police report includes new details, including a list of six prescription drugs that were found in Kwiatkowski's hotel room. Officers also smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Kwiatkowski's breath, and he slurred his words when he spoke, police said. Police also found a note that read, "please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." [1] The Hays Med campus, located in Hays, Kansas, is pictured in this June 2012 photo. Concord, N.H. -- Massachusetts police say a medical technician accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire was found intoxicated in a hotel room along with a suicide note the week before his arrest. Federal authorities previously indicated that David Kwiatkowski might have tried to harm himself in the days before his arrest July 19. A police report in Marlborough, Mass., includes new details, including a list of six prescription drugs that were found in his hotel room. According to the police report, first reported by the MetroWest Daily News, there also was a note that read "please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." [2]

The note said he could no longer handle the ongoing stress any longer, a week prior to when he was arrested. On July 19, David Kwiatkowski was apprehended at a hospital in Massachusetts just six days after he was found by police in a hotel room impaired by prescription pills. The technician is currently being held on federal charges and authorities in New Hampshire said they are trying to determine if he caused the virus to be spread to at least seven other states. Though authorities previously said that Kwiatkowski might have tried to hurt himself leading up to his arrest, a police report from Marlborough, Massachusetts reported new details. The details included a list of prescription drugs authorities found in his hotel room. A strong smell of alcohol was also found on his breath and he had a hard time speaking without slurring his words. A note was also found that said to call Kerry and tell her he had passed away. It said to tell her he was unable to handle the stress any longer. [3]



The New Hampshire hospital lab technician indicted last week for infecting 31 people with Hepatitis C might have infected "tens of thousands" of patients in at least 13 hospitals, ABC News has learned. David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire, had allegedly been stealing syringes of the anesthetic Fentanyl intended for patients, injecting his own arm and then refilling those empty syringes with another liquid-like saline, according to a statement from the United States Attorney's Office in New Hampshire. Since Kwiatkowski tested positive for Hepatitis C in June 2010, he passed it on to the hospital patients who were injected with his used, saline-filled syringes, according to the affidavit. "If he knew that he was infected and he put those needles back on the shelf, that is the definition of evil," Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor, told Good Morning America. "Anyone who was in those hospitals when he was working there is potentially at risk. [4] Investigators say the lab technician had hepatitis C for at least two years. As a traveling lab technician, he worked in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania before being hired by Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire in April 2011. The lab technician is not only accused of allegedly infecting patients with hepatitis C in the various states in which he worked for the past two years, but he's also accused of allegedly taking anesthetics from the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab. He's additionally accused of allegedly contaminating syringes that have been used on patients. [5] UPMC said it notified Kwiatkowski's employer, Maxim Staffing Solutions. "We are working closely with the Allegheny County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to identify patients who may have come into contact with Mr. Kwiatkowski and determine if they may have been at risk for contracting Hepatitis C," the statement said. The CEO at an Arizona hospital where Kwiatkwoski worked has also said he was fired after testing positive for cocaine and marijuana. He had also worked in Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York, in addition to Pennsylvania, before being hired by Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire in 2011. Kwiatkwoski is being held on federal drug charges in New Hampshire, and authorities are trying to determine whether he spread the virus elsewhere. [6] The tainted needles were then allegedly used to treat patients. Authorities have said they are in contact with eight states where Kwiatkowski previously worked. States that have confirmed their involvement in the multi-state investigation into Kwiatkowski include New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Kansas, Georgia and Arizona. Chung cautioned it may not be possible to help the out-of-state patients with the experimental treatment because some of them may have already developed chronic hepatitis C, since Kwiatkowski's employment in some of the affected states dates back several years. The drug trial with the Exeter Hospital patients will look at how the new drug works on hepatitis C in its early stages. Chung said Exeter Hospital patients are being targeted for the clinical trial because the virus is still in its early, acute stages and because many of the patients already have multiple health issues and could benefit from avoiding the side effects that come with the typical treatment. "Given the concerns about the existing therapy involving interferon injections and its plethora of side effects, there's some concern about proceeding with that regimen on this population of patients," Chung said. [7]

Hospitals in eight states are coming up with a list of patients who may have come into contact with Kwiatkowski to discover if there are any more victims. Authorities say that Kwiatkowski is a drug addict who himself is infected with hepatitis C. It's believed that Kwiatkowski shot himself up with the powerful painkiller fentanyl and left the used needles in the lab. These needles were then used on unsuspecting patients, infecting them with the blood-borne liver-damaging disease, reports CNN. The 33-year-old Kwiatkowski worked as a traveling medical technician on a temporary basis for hospitals in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania over the past five years, reports CNN. It isn't clear exactly when Kwiatkowski contracted hepatitis C or how long he has allegedly been stealing drugs, but he first tested positive for the disease in June 2010. [8] For the past five years the lab technician traveled and worked on a contract basis for hospitals in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. The health issue is that there have been hundreds or thousands of patients who may have come in contact with him to be tested for hepatitis C. The hepatitis outbreak is causing fear in any patients who may have had contact with him. [5]

How's the USA dealing with the latest Hepatitis C liver-damaging virus outbreak allegedly traced to a 33-year old lab technician accused of infecting patients with hepatitis C at a New Hampshire hospital--but only at the times he worked there in a specific hospital location? A male lab technician, worked at an Arizona hospital for 11 days before the police found him unconscious and intoxicated in a hotel room scattered with prescription pills. Before the present employment in the Arizona hospital, he'd worked as a traveling lab technician in at least eight states after working at a New Hampshire hospital where 30 patients contracted hepatitis C. The male lab technician also is being accused of infecting patients with hepatitis C at the New Hampshire hospital, according to a July 26, 2012 CNN news article, " Man accused in hepatitis C outbreak was fired from Arizona hospital." [5] People catch hepatitis C from contact with contaminated blood, most often via shared needles. The main problem is that police say the lab technician injected himself with painkillers meant for patients when he worked at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire and left the syringes for reuse. Patients fear the use of used needles and other equipment such as the syringe that holds the contaminated blood being withdrawn for testing. The conflict is that the lab technician reported to investigators that he only found out for the first time that he had contracted hepatitis C in May 2012. The U.S. Attorney claims the lab technician knew he had hepatitis C as early as June 2010. [5]

Kwiatkowski, originally from Michigan, is charged with causing a hepatitis C outbreak involving at least 30 patients who were treated at Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab. Massachusetts police said Kwiatkowski was found intoxicated along with a suicide note in a hotel room in Marlborough, Mass., the week before his arrest. [1] "The evidence gathered to date points irrefutably to Kwiatkowski as the source of the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital," U.S. attorney John P. Kacavas said in a press release. "With his arrest, we have eliminated the'serial infector' posed to public and health safety." Marlborough Police actually picked Kwiatkowski up at a Massachusetts Holiday Inn nearly a week before his arrest, on a July 13 medical call, according to police narrative obtained by ABCNews.com. After finding Kwiatkowski intoxicated and surrounded by pills and a note, officers determined he was "trying to harm himself." "I noticed he was very unsteady on his feet and had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath," Officer James O'Malley wrote in the report. O'Malley said he noticed pills strewn about the floor and on a glass table. He also found what appeared to be a suicide note signed by Kwiatkowski. "Please call and let her know I've passed away," it said. "Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." Officers took six medication bottles from the room and transported Kwiatkowski to a nearby hospital, where he was arrested a week later. [4]

EXETER The traveling medical technician who has been charged with causing the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital was fired from a Pennsylvania hospital. UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh issued a statement Friday afternoon reporting that David Kwiatkowski was a radiology technician for 47 days from March 17 to May 7, 2008 and was terminated after being found in an area of the hospital where he was not assigned. The hospital said it notified Kwiatkowski's employer, Maxim Staffing Solutions, of its action. The report of Kwiatkowski's Pennsylvania firing comes one day after officials in Arizona confirmed that he was fired from the Arizona Heart Hospital in April 2010, after he was found unresponsive in a men's locker room with syringes and needles in his possession. Kwiatkowski was treated at that hospital, and tests showed he had cocaine and marijuana in his system, said Monica Bowman, chief executive officer of the Arizona Heart Hospital. [9] CONCORD, N.H. -- A dozen hospitals in seven states are scrambling to identify people who might have been infected with hepatitis C by a traveling medical technician who was charged a week ago with causing an outbreak in New Hampshire. With details of David Kwiatkowski's resume still emerging, a hospital official in Arizona said he had been fired from her facility in April 2010, after he was found unresponsive in a men's locker room with syringes and needles. Kwiatkowski was treated at the hospital, and tests showed he had cocaine and marijuana in his system, said Monica Bowman, chief executive officer of the Arizona Heart Hospital. [10]

PHOENIX (AP) -- The head of Arizona's state health lab said tests of people possibly exposed to hepatitis C back in 2009 and 2010 may not be able to say much beyond whether people have the virus. Two Phoenix hospitals are among those in seven states trying to identify people possibly infected by a traveling medical technician who is charged with causing an outbreak in New Hampshire. People identified by Maryvale and Arizona Heart hospitals will be offered testing for hepatitis C. Lab director Victor Waddell says the virus mutates within the body, so linking positive test results to the technician could be impossible because it's been more than a year since the possible exposures. Waddell notes that it hasn't been confirmed that the technician had hepatitis C when he worked in Arizona. [11]

The MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass., first reported details of the note. "It was apparent from the note, pills and alcohol that David was trying to harm himself," Officer James O'Malley wrote. Along with those new details of Kwiatkowski's recent past, his work history stretching back more than five years also continues to be investigated, though health officials say connecting him to hepatitis C cases in other states could be difficult. The head of Arizona's state health lab said tests of people possibly exposed to hepatitis C in 2009 and 2010 -- when Kwiatkowski worked in two Arizona hospitals -- could indicate whether they have the disease but not how they got it. [1]

David Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from Exeter Hospital and contaminating syringes used on patients. Thirty of them have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C that he carries. Testing has been recommended for about 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone, and officials are still determining who needs testing in seven other states, including Arizona, where Kwiatkowski was fired in 2010 after being spotted with drugs he wasn't authorized to administer. [12] Kwiatkowski, 33, is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire and contaminating syringes used on patients. His same strain of hepatitis C, a blood-borne viral infection that can cause liver disease and chronic health issues, has been diagnosed in 30 of the patients. [13]

After being fired from the Phoenix hospital, Kwiatkowski went on to work at four more hospitals in four other states. He was arrested this month in New Hampshire in connection with stealing drugs from a hospital, and it's believed he infected 30 people in that state with hepatitis C through infected syringes. Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire said it consulted the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists before hiring Kwiatkowski and he held the required certification for his cardiovascular tech position. [14]

"As the scope potentially widens, we'll need to explore that option with the company." Last week, David Kwiatkowski, 33, a former technician at Exeter Hospital, was charged in connection with the hepatitis C outbreak that has infected at least 30 Exeter Hospital patients, prompting an investigation in multiple states where he worked in the past. [7] "There is an extremely small chance that anyone will be found to have been infected with a hepatitis C strain that is genetically linked to Kwiatkowski outside of the Cardiac Catheterization Unit," Exeter Hospital said, according to CNN. "However, as we continue to learn about Kwiatkowski's history in other states from the ongoing criminal investigation, and out of an abundance of caution, Exeter Hospital supports the (health department's) decision to offer expanded testing to patients treated in these two other areas even though Kwiatkowski had no formal role supporting procedures in those areas." [15] EXETER Victims of the Exeter Hospital hepatitis C outbreak will likely have access to an experimental new treatment for the virus as soon as September. This opportunity is currently limited to infected Exeter Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory patients and there are no immediate plans to expand it to other states that may have been affected by the former hospital employee who allegedly caused the outbreak, according to Dr. Raymond Chung, vice chief of Massachusetts General Hospital's gastrointestinal unit and medical director of MGH's liver transplant program. Chung said the new oral treatment is rapidly moving through testing by the federal Food and Drug Administration and he is finalizing an agreement with the drug manufacturer to put the drug through a clinical trial this fall with the Exeter Hospital patients at no cost to the patients. [7] State officials have identified 30 patients who have been infected with the strain of hepatitis C virus linked to the Exeter Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory and recovery area. That number could grow as the state announced this week that an additional 3,000 or so patients who had surgery at the hospital or were admitted to its intensive care unit from April 1, 2011, to May 25, 2012, need to be tested for the virus. [7] Kwiatkowski, originally from Michigan, was charged Thursday, July 19, 2012, with causing a hepatitis C outbreak involving at least 30 patients who were treated at Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab. [10] "The charges that were filed were the charges most appropriate given the circumstances of the case, and that was proven by the prison sentence handed down by the judge." In New Hampshire, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas has said that one of the strongest elements of his case against Kwiatkowski is the fact the same strain of hepatitis C has been diagnosed in Kwiatkowski and 30 patients who were treated at the Exeter cardiac lab during his employment. Asked Friday whether other states might have trouble bringing similar charges, he acknowledged the virus does mutate, and the more time passes, the more difficult it is to identify the strain. Kwiatkowski has told authorities he did not steal or use drugs. Neither his lawyer nor prosecutors would comment Friday on the apparent suicide note. [16]

Temple University Hospital has confirmed that a medical technician accused of infecting patients in New Hampshire with Hepatitis C worked a temporary job there. Temple officials said David Kwiatkowski was infected after his April 2010 employment. The hospital released a statement that reads, in part, "Since learning of this issue. [17] The health departments have learned that a healthcare technician accused of spreading hepatitis C in a New Hampshire hospital, David Matthew Kwiatkowski, spent two brief periods of time at different hospitals working in Pennsylvania through a temporary staffing agency. It is unknown if Mr. Kwiatkowski was infected with hepatitis C at the time he worked at UPMC Presbyterian and Temple University Hospital. Public health officials in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties are now working to identify patients who may have been exposed at those hospitals during his brief period of contracted employment. [18]

Hepatitis C is considered to be among the most serious of hepatitis viruses. It is typically asymptomatic, going undetected until liver damage shows up, according to the Mayo Clinic. New Hampshire's health department is asking everyone who was a patient in Exeter's operating rooms and the intensive care unit between April 1, 2011, and May 25 of this year be tested. Those are two areas that Kwiatkowski visited during his "routine duties to transport patients," an Exeter Hospital statement said. It added he "was not involved with procedures or patient care." [14] Exeter Hospital issued a press release this week, indicating that the state Department of Health and Human Services and its Division of Public Health Services have decided to expand Hepatitis C testing to anyone who was a patient in one of the hospital operating rooms or the intensive care unit. [4]

At Houston Medical Center in Warner Robins, Ga., CEO Cary Martin the identification process hasn't been completed yet. Kwiatkowski worked in the cardiac cath lab there from October 2010 to March 2011 but did not have access to the hospital's medication system, he said. Kwiatkowski didn't have direct access to Exeter Hospital's medication system, either, but investigators believe he was able to steal medication that other employees were in the process of preparing for patients and switch it with syringes he had filled with another liquid, possibly saline. Former co-workers reported that he sometimes came in on his days off and attended procedures he wasn't assigned to. Testing originally was recommended only for patients who had been treated at Exeter's cardiac lab, but state officials have expanded the recommendation to include anyone who underwent surgery or was admitted to the intensive care unit because Kwiatkowski sometimes took patients to those areas. Clinics planned for this weekend and early next week were postponed Thursday due to logistical problems. If convicted of the charges he currently faces -- tampering with a consumer product and fraudulently obtaining a controlled drug -- Kwiatkowski could get as many as 24 years in prison for. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Felicia Fonseca and Paul Davenport in Arizona, Kate Brumback in Atlanta, Ben Nuckols in Washington, David Runk in Detroit, John Hanna in Topeka, Kan., and JoAnn Loviglio in Philadelphia. [10] Testing has been recommended for about 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone, and officials still are determining who should be tested in a dozen hospitals elsewhere. In addition to Arizona -- where he was fired from one hospital after testing positive for cocaine and marijuana -- he worked in Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania before being hired by Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire in April 2011. Though he likely came in contact with thousands of patients in those states since 2007, it's unclear when Kwiatkowski became infected. He told authorities he was diagnosed in May; investigators say he has been infected since at least June 2010. [1] The CEO at an Arizona hospital where David Kwiatkwoski, 33, worked said he was fired in April 2010 after testing positive for cocaine and marijuana. He was found unresponsive in a men's locker room with syringes and needles. He was treated at the hospital, and tests showed he had cocaine and marijuana in his system, said Monica Bowman, chief executive officer of the Arizona Heart Hospital. He had also worked in Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan and New York, in addition to Pennsylvania, before being hired by Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire in 2011. [19]

In addition to Arizona, hospitals and state health agencies have confirmed that Kwiatkowski also worked in Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania before being hired in New Hampshire in April of 2011. [20]

Messages left for Kwiatkowski's lawyers after business hours Thursday were not immediately returned. Kwiatkowski, who is being held on federal drug charges, told authorities he did not steal or use drugs. He said he learned he had hepatitis C in May, but authorities say there is evidence that it was diagnosed as early as June 2010. Kacavas said nailing down that date is his top priority, but in the meantime, the uncertainty is further complicating efforts by hospitals to make recommendations about testing. In Michigan, officials at Oakwood Annapolis Hospital in Wayne noted that there was no indication that Kwiatkowski had hepatitis C when he was employed there from January to September 2007, and that he passed at least two drug tests during that time. State health officials said they are still looking into other locations where Kwiatkowski worked and what steps, if any, they need to take. [13] Shae Veach, HaysMed vice president of regional operations, said in an email blood is being sent to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for testing. It takes two to three weeks to receive results. David Kwiatkowski is accused of causing an outbreak of hepatitis C in New Hampshire, where he faces federal charges of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product. In 2010, he was employed at HaysMed as a traveling hospital technician. [21] Hospitals in at least eight states want to know how many hundreds or thousands of their patients have come in contact with a lab technician accused of spreading hepatitis C. The man, David Kwiatkowski, has the disease, which can pass through contact with contaminated blood, most often via shared needles. [14] Last week the police in Marlborough, Massachusetts arrested the man, at a Massachusetts hospital named in the CNN and the Miami Herald news articles. New details have since come forth about is recent past as police investigate the past five years of his work history. The tests may be able to show whether those patients have the disease but not how they got it. Since hepatitis C keeps mutating once it's in a human body, it's difficult to prove from who the virus was contracted. Investigators have no idea when the lab technician became infected or how he caught hepatitis C. What the police do know is that he first found out that he had hepatitis C only two months ago when he was diagnosed. [5] A former traveling hospital lab technician may have put hundreds or thousands of patients at risk after contracting hepatitis C and allegedly tampering with consumer products. [15]

The lab technician only worked at that hospital for 11 days, according to the CNN news article, " Man accused in hepatitis C outbreak was fired from Arizona hospital." [5] EXETER, N.H. - A traveling medical technician accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire had been fired by hospitals in Pennsylvania and Arizona, hospital officials said. David Kwiatkwoski was found inside an area of a Pittsburgh hospital where he was not assigned in 2008 and fired, a statement from UPMC Presbyterian said. He had worked there for 47 days. [6] A suicide note also has been found, allegedly written by the traveling medical technician, according to a July 27, 2012 Miami Herald news report, " Suspect in hepatitis C outbreak wrote suicide note," which names the man. He's accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire. His suicide note allegedly written the week before his arrest notes that he "couldn't handle this stress anymore," according to a police report. [5]

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) Health officials across the country are scrambling to identify thousands of patients who may have been exposed to hepatitis C from a traveling medical technician facing criminal charges in New Hampshire. [12]

Kwiatkowski, a contract radiology technologist, is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from the lab in New Hampshire. He allegedly injected himself and contaminated syringes that later were used on patients, 30 of whom have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C that Kwiatkowski carries. Kwiatkowski told investigators he was diagnosed in May, but authorities said there is evidence he has had the disease since at least June 2010. [21] Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from a lab at the Exeter hospital. Authorities said he injected himself with painkillers and left the syringes for the hospital to reuse. He is infected with Hepatitis C is a virus passed through the blood that affects the liver. [19] Kwiatkowski, 33, is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab and contaminating syringes used on patients. [16]

An employee at Exeter Hospital in Exeter, N.H., David Kwiatkowski, 33, allegedly infects random patients with the Hepatitis C Virus. [22] UPMC officials on Thursday confirmed that David Kwiatkowski worked at UPMC Presbyterian in 2008 for a little more than a month. Mr. Kwiatkowski was fired after he was found in an area of the hospital where he was not authorized to be, UPMC said. It is not known whether Mr. Kwiatkowski, who was arrested last week for allegedly infecting 30 people with hepatitis C, was positive for the virus at the time. [23]

PHOENIX (AP) -- Two Phoenix hospitals say they are sending certified letters Monday to patients who may have been potentially exposed to hepatitis C. Maryvale Hospital and Arizona Heart Hospital have been scrambling to identify patients treated at the facilities during the time a former medical worker worked there and who might potentially have been infected by him. [24] In Maryland, hundreds of patients are being contacted by the four hospitals where Kwiatkowski worked between May 2008 and March 2010. None of the four, which include The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a Veterans Affairs hospital in Baltimore, reported that Kwiatkowski was fired or that his behaviour raised red flags. That wasn't the case in Arizona. Kwiatkowski completed one stint at Maryvale Hospital from March to June 2009 without apparent incident but was fired 11 days into his second stint, at the Arizona Heart Hospital. Barbara Yeninas, a spokeswoman for SpringBoard Healthcare Staffing and Search, said her agency reported Kwiatkowski's firing to a state regulatory board, as well as a national certification organization. Aubrey Godwin, director of the Arizona Radiology Regulatory Agency, said as the agency began investigating, Kwiatkowski surrendered his certification that allowed him to work in the state. 'His statement was that he didn't have enough resources to fight it,' Godwin said. [20]

Described as a "serial infector" by the U.S. attorney in New Hampshire, Kwiatkowski is accused of taking syringes of the powerful anesthetic fentanyl, injecting himself and refilling contaminated syringes with saline. The syringes were later used on patients at a New Hampshire hospital where he worked between April 2011 and May this year. Arizona public-health officials and the Arizona hospitals do not want to scare patients and said those patients receiving the letters should be tested as a precautionary measure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. [25] David Kwiatkowski, a Michigan native who worked at the Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire, allegedly injected himself with painkillers meant for patients and left the syringes to be reused. [15] Mr. Kwiatkowski was charged last week with fraudulently obtaining drugs and tampering with a consumer product. He is accused of injecting himself with anesthetic drugs that he stole from the hospital where he worked in New Hampshire, and then using the same syringes on patients. [23]

Dave Kwiatkowski of Canton, the former traveling hospital worker charged with starting a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire by stealing patients' medication to get high, may have tried to kill himself before his arrest, according to the MetroWest Daily News. [26] 30 patients have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Investigators say the technician fed his drug habit by stealing syringes from hospitals and injecting himself with the drugs, then reusing the dirty needles on patients. FOX's Andrew Hasbun has more details in this video report on Kwiakowski's questionable work history. [17] HARRISBURG, Pa., July 26, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Allegheny County Health Department are working with two hospitals to notify patients treated during 2008 and 2010 about possible exposure to hepatitis C. The hospitals involved are UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh and Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. [18] UPMC Presbyterian hospital officials are contacting patients who may have been exposed to hepatitis C from actions taken by a former employee in 2008. UPMC has also established a call center for people to call if they are concerned about potential exposure to hepatitis C in this case. [23]

Thirty patients at Exeter have been diagnosed with the same hepatitis C strain that Kwiatkowski has. [15] David Kwiatkowski has been arrested for allegedly infecting at least 30 people with hepatitis C as he traveled across the country working as a medical lab technician. [8] FILE - This undated file 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 Thursday, July 19, 2012, at a hospital in Massachusetts where he is receiving medical treatment. [1] The news comes as at least 13 hospitals in seven states scramble to identify those possibly infected by traveling medical technician David Kwiatkowski, 33, charged a week ago with causing an outbreak in New Hampshire. 'Anyone who was in those hospitals when he was working there is potentially at risk. [20] David Kwiatkowski worked as a traveling medical technician on a contract basis for hospitals in at least eight states. He was arrested this month and faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted. [27] Kwiatkowski worked as a traveling medical technician on a contract basis for hospitals in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Maryland, Kansas, Georgia and Arizona over the past five years. [15]

We're talking tens of thousands of people,' Dr Richard Besser, ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor told Good Morning America. With details of Kwiatkowski's rocky resume still emerging, it was in June of 2010 he tested positive for the disease before passing it on to hospital patients injected with his used, saline-filled syringes, according to the affidavit. 'If he knew that he was infected and he put those needles back on the shelf, that is the definition of evil,' Dr Besser said. According to <"font-size:1.2em;">CNN the affidavit alleges that Kwiatkowski didn't intent to infect others but it was the result of a messy cover up to his addiction to painkiller Fentanyl, having replaced new hospital needles with his used ones. A hospital official in Arizona said Kwiatkowski had been fired from her facility in April of 2010, after found unresponsive in a men's locker room with syringes and needles. [20] Back on April 1, 2010, the lab technician was found unresponsive in the men's locker room at Arizona Heart Hospital "in possession of syringes and needles," according to the written statement from the hospital. [5] David Matthew Kwiatkowski worked as a radiology technician in the cardiac-catheterization labs at Maryvale Hospital from March9 to June27 in 2009, and Arizona Heart Hospital from March22 to April2 in 2010. [25]

Presently the hospital is trying to find the patients who visited the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab at the time the lab technician worked there for the 11-day period. Check out the CNN news article for a list of the hospitals he worked at in the various states. [5] The lab technician is accused of allegedly spreading the disease to 30 patients at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire. [5]

James E. Holmes, 24, allegedly opened gun fire in a movie theater on July 20. He killed 12 and wounded 50 others at random. Both are acts of terrorism. Both issues are deserving of debate this political season for the sake of public health protection. Kwiatkowski and Holmes have their respective differences, yet in both cases, they duped all who knew them. In a news release on July 19, Kevin Callahan, CEO of Exeter Hospital issued a statement saying "It is deeply disturbing that the alleged callous acts of one individual can have such an impact on so many innocent lives." Callahan speaks only to the issue of the Hepatitis infections, but his observation is true, in both cases. It is disturbing. According to all hospital accounts, David Kwiatkowski, gave them no reason to be suspicious of his character. [22] Dr. Raymond Chung, vice chief of Massachusetts General Hospital's gastrointestinal unit, says victims of Exeter Hospital's hepatitis C outbreak may have the option of participating in a clinical trial that will involve a new oral treatment. [7] Chung declined to name the drug and its manufacturer. He said the drug has already been tested on a few dozen hepatitis C patients and produced favorable results with limited side effects. Chung said he has not had any discussions about opening the trial up to potential victims in other states. "We wanted to be responsive to this particular outbreak," he said. [7] Approximately 460 former Hays Medical Center patients possibly exposed to hepatitis C in 2010 have begun to be tested for the blood-borne disease. [21] The Hepatitis C virus mutates inside the body, therefore linking any test results that come back positive to Kwiatkowski would prove more difficult as time went on, especially after a full year, said medical authorities involved in the case. [3] An argument can be made that if you face assault charges for beating someone with a baseball bat, then you should face assault charges for infecting someone with a hepatitis-laden needle. At the least, if David Kwiatkowski was aware that he had hepatitis C, he should face endangerment charges for using the needles on himself and then leaving the infected needles around for use on others. [8] HaysMed has asked all patients possibly infected to have blood drawn and be tested for hepatitis C at no charge. [21]

Citizens of the other tragedy, becoming infected with Hepatitis C while in the care of a hospital, deserve equal respect. [22] The three departments of health will continue to work with the involved hospitals in Pennsylvania as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify potential exposures. "Any concerned individuals are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or local health department and get tested for hepatitis C," said Avila. [18] Hepatitis C is a blood-borne viral infection that can cause liver damage and chronic health problems. [21] According to the Mayo Clinic, hepatitis C is one of the most serious of hepatitis viruses, often going undetected until liver damage is revealed. This story filed in United States and tagged Hepatitis. [15]

Federal prosecutors believe a former medical technician infected at least 30 people with hepatitis C. [27] There is no vaccine against hepatitis C virus. It is estimated that 1 to 1.5 percent of the U.S. population has been infected with hepatitis C, equating to an estimated 120,000-170,000 infected Pennsylvanians. [18]

Up to three dozen patients were found to have hepatitis C after being exposed. [1] UPMC has set up a call center for former patients concerned about potential of exposure to the hepatitis C virus. [19] As bad as giving someone Hepatitis C, think of the patients in pain who got saline solution instead of pain relief. [20]

Suspect In NH Hepatitis C Outbreak Wrote Suicide Note Before Arrest « CBS Boston You are using Internet Explorer 6. Internet Explorer 6 is unsupported by this site and you may experience layout and functionality issues. It is recommended that you upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer or switch to another browser. [28]

The police are holding the lab technician on federal drug charges. The lab technician claims he did not steal or use drugs in spite of the fact that the Marlborough police report includes a list of six prescription drugs that were found in his hotel room. The latest news on the lab technician is the finding of his suicide note by the police. The note reads, "please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." [5] Though federal authorities previously indicated that Kwiatkowski might have tried to harm himself in the days before his arrest July 19, the Marlborough police report includes new details, including a list of six prescription drugs that were found in Kwiatkowski's hotel room. Officers also smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Kwiatkowski's breath, and he slurred his words when he spoke, police said. Police also found a note that read, "please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." [29]

The newspaper reports that on July 13, the week before Kwiatkowski was arrested, police in Marlborough, Mass. were called to a local Holiday Inn at 11:30 at night to assist emergency responders with a guest who was feeling dizzy. They found Kwiatkowski at the hotel, intoxicated, with a number of pills on the floor. He had left a note on a nearby table that read, "please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." He was found in possession of numerous medications, including Ativan, Clumipramine, Camprel, Prozac, Thorazine and Trileptal. He was taken to Marlborough Hospital and later transferred to UMass Medical Center in Worcester. [26]

Kwiatkowski was arrested earlier this month after police found him in a Massachusetts hotel room "in an intoxicated state" and took him to a hospital, the affidavit states. He is now being held in the Strafford County, New Hampshire, jail. He could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted. Kwiatkowski appeared in New Hampshire federal court Tuesday and waived his right to a detention hearing. [14]

While other health care workers have been prosecuted for diverting drugs and infecting patients, the Kwiatkowski case stands apart, said U.S. Attorney John Kacavas. "Because of his employment as a traveler, working for agencies and being sent around the country to various states, it really has tentacles all over the country," he said. "Its scope is unprecedented and scary." A court-appointed lawyer declined to comment at a court hearing this week. [13] New Hampshire U.S. Attorney John Kacavas called Kwiatkowski a "serial infector" who has worked in at least six states since 2007. [21]

The states are concerned that the outbreak could spread beyond New Hampshire as a result. State authorities want to test patients who may have come into contact with Kwiatkowski to ensure they haven't contracted the disease. An investigation into the former lab tech has determined he tested positive for the disease as early as June 2010. [15] In Kansas, state health officials are sending letters to about 460 patients who were treated at the cardiac catheterization lab at Hays Medical Center from May 24, 2010, to Sept. 22, 2010. [19]

After closely reviewing patient records in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Heart Hospital says 157 patients were potentially exposed in March and April in 2010 and Maryvale Hospital says 132 patients were potentially exposed in March through June in 2009. The two hospitals are urging those patients to take tests for the virus, which can cause serious liver damage. [24] The registry's website says Kwiatkowski's certification was "summarily suspended" as of July 2012. Kwiatkowski was working at Arizona Heart Hospital in 2010 when a fellow employee found him passed out in the men's bathroom, according to documents obtained by CNN. [14] Kwiatkowski was treated at the hospital, and tests showed he had cocaine and marijuana in his system, said Monica Bowman, chief executive officer of the Arizona Heart Hospital. A spokesman for a national registry of radiological technologists declined to confirm or deny to CNN whether they were aware of that 2010 incident. According to an FBI affidavit obtained by CNN, that 2010 incident, wasn't his first. In 2008 hospital employees allegedly noticed him acting erratically sparking an investigation that led to his firing. [20]

Kwiatkowski was immediately fired from Arizona Heart Hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman. He then relinquished his license as a radiologic technologist. [14]

Officials have identified 270 patients at Maryvale and fewer than 200 at the heart hospital who could have been exposed to Kwiatkowski. [13] Now Kwiatkowski faces charges for obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product. It's surprising that Kwiatkowski was not charged with assault or reckless endangerment for spreading the disease to hospital patients. [8] In the Exeter case, Kwiatkowski has been charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product, namely a hospital syringe, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. He is suspected of stealing fentanyl, the affidavit said. [14] In the meantime, the lab technician has been charged with with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product, namely a hospital syringe, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. He is suspected of allegedly stealing fentanyl, a powerful analgesic that is substantially more potent than morphine, according to the CNN news article which obtained the information from an affidavit. [5]

The case bears some similarity to that of Kristen Diane Parker, who is serving a 30 year sentence in Colorado after pleading guilty in 2009 to tampering with a consumer product and illegally obtaining a controlled substance. Parker, a surgical technician, was accused of stealing syringes filled with painkillers and replacing them with used syringes at two Colorado hospitals where she worked. [1]

Kwiatkowski worked at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland as a radiation technician for 47 days in 2008. He was let go after he was found inside an area of the hospital where he was not assigned, a statement from the hospital said. [19] Patients who underwent specific procedures that may have involved Mr. Kwiatkowski at Temple University Hospital from April 7, 2010 to April 30, 2010, or at UPMC Presbyterian from March 17, 2008 to May 7, 2008, will be notified of the potential exposure and encouraged to get tested for the disease. [18] Twenty-five former patients at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where Kwiatkowski worked for three months in late 2007 and early 2008, have been asked to get tested. [19] "The Pennsylvania Department of Health is aware that Mr. Kwiatkowski worked briefly in Pennsylvania on two different occasions, once in 2008 and once in 2010," said Secretary of Health Dr. Eli N. Avila. "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." [18]

Chung said the Exeter Hospital outbreak clinical trial will include a treatment of two pills for a three-month period. "While it's true the virus doesn't pose an immediate health threat to this population of patients, the fact is if this can be administered, it represents an opportunity to these patients to remove the stigma and emotional trauma of this entire episode." Chung said if the new medication doesn't help the patients, they will still have the option of undergoing treatment with the ribavirin and interferon injections. Those interested in trying the experimental treatment will need to hold off on any other treatments until after the trial. [7] Government health officials are urging about 6,000 patients to get tested in Exeter Hospital alone, according to the release. "You go under and you wake up hours later and you don't know who was around you," a former patient told The Boston Herald on condition of anonymity this week. [4]

Kwiatskowski, 32, was a temporary employee at Exeter Hospital who has worked in at least eight hospitals in 13 states, Besser said. [4] Exeter Hospital employees discovered the outbreak in May 2012, prompting an investigation that spanned several local, state and federal government agencies, including the FBI, according to court documents obtained by ABCNews.com. [4]



Authorities want to know if the technician exposed two Arizona hospital's patients to the virus while working there in 2009 and 2010. [3] The two Phoenix hospitals are warning patients treated in 2009 and 2010 to take precautionary tests for the virus after a former medical worker was accused of infecting more than 30 people with the virus at a New Hampshire hospital in the past year. [25] "I don't have the resources nor money to fight the accusations," Kwiatkowski wrote at the time. A few weeks later, he was working at Temple University Hospital in Pennsylvania, and then went on to work in Kansas and Georgia before working in New Hampshire. [14] In that statement, the hospital said it "was deeply concerned by the alleged criminal conduct" by Kwiatkowski in New Hampshire. [21]

Testing has been recommended for about 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone. Police said Kwiatkowski wrote a suicide note the week before his July 19 arrest, saying he "couldn't handle this stress anymore." [19] Event: Need something to do this weekend? Check out our calendar of local events. Police say Dave Kwiatkowski left a suicide note a week before his arrest. [26]



Veach said HaysMed could not comment on Kwiatkowski, a former contract radiology technologist while at the hospital, due to pending charges. [21] Christopher Cook, a spokesman for the registry, declined to comment further. The director of the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency said officials stopped their investigation when Kwiatkowski moved out of state. [14] The trouble is, Kwiatkowski previously worked in eight other states. His reach was wide and investigations are ongoing. [22]

Kwiatkowski worked in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at HaysMed from May 24, 2010, to Sept. 22, 2010. KDHE said only those HaysMed patients who underwent cardiac catheterization procedures at that time were potentially put at risk. [21]

Kwiatkowski was arrested and indicted on July 19 for allegedly acquiring a controlled substance by fraud and tampering with a consumer product with "reckless disregard" for the risk of others, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. [4] Kwiatkowski was arrested in connection with allegedly spreading hepatitis, obtaining controlled substances through fraudulent measures and tampering with consumer products, CNN ]] CNN reports. [15]



Hepatitis C can be transmitted through exposure to blood or blood products and is easily diagnosed through a blood or saliva sample. [18] What is Hepatitis C? The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease. [22] You also can catch Hepatitis C, for example by using the same razor or toothbrush as someone with Hepatitis C has used. [5] For general questions about hepatitis C, call 1-877-PA HEALTH (877-724-3258). [18] Nearly 300 people will be getting a letter next week from health officials urging them to test themselves for hepatitis C. [25]

Check out the latest YouTube video on the hepatitis C outbreak, " More join lawsuit in hepatitis C outbreak." [5] The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. Viruses are germs that can cause sickness. [5] Standard treatment for acute hepatitis C sometimes includes a daily oral medication called ribavirin and weekly injections of interferon for six to 24 months. The common side effects of this regimen include depression, anxiety and flu-like symptoms, to name a few, according to Chung. [7] "The victims were victimized twice. They were victimized in the sense that during surgery they were deprived of pain medicine, and then some, not all, then later obtained hepatitis C," Dorschner said. [1] To learn more about hepatitis C and how it differs from other forms of hepatitis, check out the government site, What I need to know about Hepatitis C - National Digestive Diseases. [5] According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse opnbrktNDDICclsbrkt, here are the main causes and symptoms of hepatitis C and links to resources for further information. [5]



The hospital encourages to have blood drawn Mondays through Thursdays at the Quest site, 2501 Canterbury. Patients also can have the lab work done at their local hospital. [21] '. three empty syringes bearing Fentanyl labels were found on his person. An empty morphine sulphate syringe and a needle were later found in his locker. It's not currently known if the registry were aware of it with sources telling CNN that it's not uncommon for hospital staff to fire someone without reporting incidents similar to his that result in medical supplies missing. [20] Very odd. My first thoughts were the same as a comment by Pamela, California, USA. My mother was given Fentanyl in the last days of her short battle with cancer. she was still in so much pain, and I cannot imagine if someone had'stolen' these drugs from her, to ingest/inject themselves. It makes me cry to think about the suffering he has caused these patients. and the possible suffering, of thousands, yet to come. In this computer age, with it so easy to share data, there is no excuse for there to not be a national registry of hospital workers fired for cause. [20] The finding resulted in a drug test in the emergency room. When the drug test came out positive, the police were called and the Phoenix hospital canceled his contract with a staffing agency. [5]

All were infected during a six-month period when Parker worked at the hospitals, though under the product tampering law, prosecutors don't have to prove infection. [1] UPMC said it notified Kwiatkowski's employer, Maxim Staffing Solutions. UPMC officials do not know if he was infected with the virus when he worked at Presby from March 17 to May 7, 2008, but they are operating under the assumption that he did. [19]

According to CBS News, Kwiatkowski stands accused of stealing syringes of the anesthetic fentanyl; injecting himself and returning the syringes with a different liquid for use on catheterization patients. [22] The main fear is of being tested with used syringes and other ways that a technician testing the blood of others makes contact with patients. [5]

Employers fired him from his lab technician job in Arizona two years ago after he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use, according to the CNN news article. [5]



Exeter, in a statement, said it conducted a background check and took other steps before hiring Kwiatkowski full time. "One of them described him as unfit to provide medical care and his supervisor sent him home," Kacavas said. "He provided a plausible explanation for his condition, which was that he had been crying his eyes out because his aunt had died and he was an emotional wreck." [14] According to the police report, first reported by The MetroWest Daily News, there also was a note that read "please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." [28]

SOURCES

1. The Associated Press: Suspect in hepatitis C outbreak wrote suicide note
2. Suspect in N.H. hepatitis C outbreak, who worked in Mich., wrote suicide note | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
3. Hepatitis C Suspect Wrote Suicide Note | Jags Report - JAGSReport
4. Hepatitis C 'Serial Infector' Could Have Spread Disease to Thousands - ABC News
5. Hepatitis C outbreak - National Healthy Trends | Examiner.com
6. Tech in hepatitis case fired at hospitals in Pa., Ariz. | Local News - WCVB Home
7. Breakthrough in hepatitis C treatment | SeacoastOnline.com
8. Did 'Serial Infector' Expose Patients in 6 States? | Reuters
9. Accused hospital worker was fired in Pennsylvania | SeacoastOnline.com
10. Case of suspect in NH hepatitis outbreak "has tentacles all over country' Health Bangor Daily News BDN Maine
11. TriValley Central > Casa Grande Dispatch > Around Arizona > Time limits hepatitis test results
12. Suspect in NH hepatitis C outbreak was fired in | WSLS 10
13. Suspect in hepatitis C outbreak was fired in Ariz. - Health - Men's health - NBCNews.com
14. Man accused in hepatitis C outbreak was fired from Arizona hospital | NewsCentralGA.com | Your Source for Local News | FOX24 & ABC16 | WGXA - Macon | Macon, Ga | Local News
15. N.H. hepatitis outbreak causes concern in other states | Vaccine News Daily
16. Kwiatkowski wrote suicide note | SeacoastOnline.com
17. Technician In Hep C Scare Case Worked At Temple Before Infection - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29
18. Pennsylvania Department of Health Working with Two Pennsylvania Hospitals to Notify Patients of Potential Exposure to Hepatitis C - PR Newswire - The Sacramento Bee
19. Man in N.H. hepatitis case fired in Pa., Ariz. | TribLIVE
20. Hep C carrier David Kwaitkowski may have infected 'tens of thousands' as hospitals work to identify victims | Mail Online
21. The Hays Daily News
22. Kwiatkowski and Holmes and the debates they spark - Boston Health and Wellness | Examiner.com
23. UPMC contacting patients about hepatitis C exposure - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
24. 2 Ariz hospitals ID potential hepatitis patients - Lifestyle - Boston.com
25. Letters to Arizona patients will urge hepatitis C tests - News from The Arizona Republic
26. Canton Man Suspected in Hep C Case May Have Tried to Kill Himself - Plymouth-Canton, MI Patch
27. Hospitals where patients may have been exposed | HLNtv.com
28. Suspect In NH Hepatitis C Outbreak Wrote Suicide Note Before Arrest « CBS Boston
29. Police: suspect in New Hampshire hepatitis C outbreak wrote suicide note before arrest - The Washington Post

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  #2  
Old 07-31-2012, 04:48 AM
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Re: Man in Hepatitis Case Fired For Reusing His Dirty Needles on Patients

LOL he's going green and re-using his stuff..cant blame him

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Old 07-31-2012, 01:04 PM
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Re: Man in Hepatitis Case Fired For Reusing His Dirty Needles on Patients

There are some things you just don't share! This would be one and a toothbrush would be the other.

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Old 07-31-2012, 05:43 PM
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Re: Man in Hepatitis Case Fired For Reusing His Dirty Needles on Patients

I say.... Hang him out to dry

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