Lab Tech Sentenced To 39 Years For Infecting Patients With Hepatitis C

Hospital worker used syringes he infected on patients

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A former hospital lab technician was sentenced to 39 years in prison on Monday for purposefully infecting patients with hepatitis C.

David Kwiatkowski, 34, received his sentence after listening to statements from 20 patients he had infected, the Associated Press reports. Kwiatkowski was a cardiac technologist at 18 different hospitals throughout the country before he was hired by Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire in 2011. He was fired four times during his career for stealing syringes. Forty-six people have been diagnosed with Kwiatkowski’s strain of hepatitis C since his arrest.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease that can last between a couple weeks to the rest of a person’s life. It spreads through blood and there is no vaccine for it.

Kwiatkowski admitted to stealing anesthetic syringes for patients. He would then inject the syringes into his own arm and refill them with saline and then put them back so they would be used on patients. One of Kwiatkowski’s  patients from Kansas died, and the coroners sauid hepatitis C was a factor.

“On one hand, you were saving my life, and on the other hand, your acts are a death sentence for me,” Linda Ficken, 71, of Andover, Kan., said at Kwiatkowski’s sentencing, as she recalled him applying pressure to her catheter for over an hour to control the bleeding. “Do I thank you for what you did to help me? Do I despise you for what your actions did and will continue to do for the rest of my life? Or do I simply just feel sorry for you being the pathetic individual you are?”

[AP]

4 comments
RollsEyesAtYou
RollsEyesAtYou

What type of technician was he?  Title states lab tech. Passage states cardiac tech. CNN states radiologic tech. None of those are the same.  Too many discrepancies in this story. And why was he only sentenced to 39 years?  Sentence seems a little low for someone who purposefully infected people with hepatitis, resulting in the death of one of his victims.

JasonNavarro
JasonNavarro

Disregard for human life. its the same as murder in a sense.

goerizal
goerizal

the sentence is way too small and short considering the number of people who got infected and the position of trust and skill that was assumed on him in his job. it is not right to say the judge is a user too. he is just too sympathetic to the wrong person.

OvezJapanwalla
OvezJapanwalla

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists CERTIFIES annually an Allied Healthcare professional and is responsible for investigating complaints and revoking certification upon which monster like above would not have been able to be near his victims. 

In 2008, a hospital had reported him to ARRT when he was discovered " wasted" in a closet. recently, ARRT and several staffing agencies were subjected to a shared liability lawsuit. 

 ARRT argued that it couldn't be held liable for Kwiatkowski's criminal conduct because it "wasn't foreseeable" and that ARRT didn't owe the Exeter victims any damages because it has no direct connection to them.

In adding ARRT to the civil suits against Exeter Hospital, attorneys representing the victims argued that ARRT failed to investigate a complaint that Kwiatkowski abused fentanyl while employed as a radiologic technician at Arizona Heart Hospital and then continued to certify Kwiatkowski.

"Clearly there was an opportunity for investigation and action by ARRT. Had ARRT determined that Kwiatkowski should have been decertified and was decertified, it is reasonable to conclude that he would not have been employed by the Exeter Hospital," McHugh ruled.

If check the ARRT website, to verify credentials, now list David Kiawkotski as having his certification revoked as of September 2012

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