The 30 patients known to have been infected with hepatitis C by New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital may have acquired the virus because a technician was allowed to work with "weeping/discharge of fluids and blood-like stains" from his skin, and not necessarily through illegal drug diversion and syringe reuse, according to a federal complaint survey report released Thursday.
view the CMS report
"It was revealed through interview that Staff B (Scrub technician) had 3 open lesions and a finger cut that needed stitches at times during Staff B's employment from date of hire on 4/11/11 until 5/16/12," the report says.
"On further interview with Staff A it was revealed that Staff B was asked to leave the work area several times due to weeping/discharge of fluids and blood-like stains on Staff B's scrubs [clothing] including at least once during a procedure."
Charges of drug diversion
The U.S. Attorney's office on July 19 charged former Exeter radiology technician David Matthew Kwiatkowski, 32, with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product.
He is alleged to have taken syringes filled with fentanyl intended for use on patients in the cardiac catheterization lab, injecting himself with them, possibly filling them with another liquid and then leaving them to be used for the patients they were originally intended.