The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Hays Medical Center have been working collaboratively to notify patients who had procedures in the cardiac catheterization laboratory from May 24, 2010, to Sept. 22, 2010, of potential exposure to hepatitis C virus.
David Kwiatkoski, a contract radiology technologist who had worked at Hays Medical Center during this time frame, was arrested on July 19 and charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product in New Hampshire.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court in New Hampshire, he allegedly engaged in drug diversion and infected a cluster of patients with hepatitis C while employed at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire.
Patients were advised of the federal charges against the former contract healthcare worker and encouraged to be tested through KDHE for hepatitis C at no charge.
"Our highest priority at this time is to identify patients who may be infected with hepatitis C so they can receive appropriate medical care," said Robert Moser, MD, KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.
Hays Medical Center is contacting all patients who have been tested to explain their laboratory test results and provide recommendations for follow-up medical care as needed. In addition, Hays Medical Center is also following up with any patients who have not yet sought testing.
Patients who have questions about hepatitis C or their laboratory results can contact Hays Medical Center at 877-261-7140 or KDHE at 877-427-7317.
KDHE has established a webpage with information about hepatitis C, the ongoing investigation, the laboratory testing process, and results of current laboratory testing and records review.
Key points to date include:
-In total, 474 patients were identified as having procedures in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Hays Medical Center from May 24, 2010, to Sept. 22, 2010. This number includes at least 54 patients who have been identified as deceased from various causes prior to the current notification process and are therefore not available for new laboratory tests.
-As of August 9, 2012, 334 patients have submitted blood specimens for testing through KDHE.
-311 patients have tested negative for HCV.
-Based on tests completed at the NHPHL, two patients have tested positive for HCV with a strain that is closely related to the cluster of patients in New Hampshire.
-For the remaining patients who have submitted blood specimens, either their laboratory tests are still in process or they have not completed epidemiologic interviews.
im not for capitol punishment but honestly, the amount of people who could have been killed, infected or infect others would be not very happy to look at. thankfully, it seems not too many people ended up sick a result. what he did was essentially "bio-terrorism" in my mind,