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 of the Arizona Heart Hospital.
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.
Testing has been recommended for about 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone, and officials are still determining who should be tested elsewhere. 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 2011.