By Joe Messa
About 7,900 patients were potentially exposed to hepatitis C after a traveling medical worker allegedly infected patients at hospitals across the country with tainted syringes. David Kwiatkowski has since been arrested and pleaded not guilty to 14 federal drug charges earlier this month. He is expected to go to trial next fall. Kwiatkowski began working in New Hampshire in April 2001, but worked in 18 hospitals in seven states as a traveling cardiac technologist prior to that.
Thirty-two people in New Hampshire have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C that Kwiatkowski carries, along with six in Kansas, five in Maryland and one in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, officials say that 2,280 patients at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian were told that they were at risk and should be tested for hepatitis C, but only 840 have done so. Kwiatkowski also worked at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Temple recommended 312 patients get tested. The hospital declined to say how many patients have followed through or been diagnosed with hepatitis C.
Reports indicate that at least 3,700 people outside New Hampshire have still not been tested despite health officials urging them that they should sometime in July. Hundreds of patients in Michigan, Maryland, New York, Kansas and multiple other states have all failed to undergo testing for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Typically, those infected with the virus have no symptoms, and only find out they have it when liver damage shows up during routine medical tests. Hepatitis C is passed through contact with contaminated blood. Those infected with hepatitis C may suffer from scarring of the liver tissue (known as cirrhosis), liver cancer or liver failure.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving medical malpractice cases resulting from infections passed to patients as a result of a negligent behavior on behalf of a medical professional. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice lawyers and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of an infection such as hepatitis C contracted at a hospital error or any other type of negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More