Man called 'Serial Infector' worked at Michigan hospitals, patients advised to seek testing

David Kwiatkowski worked at Sinai Grace, Harper Hospital, U of M Hospital, Oakwood Hospital

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LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has confirmed that David Kwiatkowski, the traveling medical technician accused of infecting 30 patients with hepatitis C in New Hampshire, previously worked in at least six Michigan facilities from 2003-2007.

A negative hepatitis C test result at one hospital during his employment allows MDCH to exclude two hospitals from further examination as there was no risk posed to patients at these facilities.

Health officials said Kwiatkowski spent time working at Detroit's Sinai-Grace Hospital from June - October of 2005, Harper Hospital from October 2005-September 2006, University of Michigan Hospital (Main Campus) from September 11-December 8, 2006 and Oakwood Annapolis Hospital from January 15-September 15 of 2007.

The investigation has not uncovered evidence that Kwiatkowsk was infected with hepatitis C while employed at any Michigan facility.

MDCH recommends that if you were a patient at one or more of the facilities listed during the identified time periods and you received an injectable narcotic, you should consult the facility or your primary care provider regarding testing.

MDCH said if you do not know if an injectable narcotic was administered to you, contact the facility to find out more information. 

Health officials said injectable narcotics are given to patients for many reason including those who may have undergone procedures in interventional radiology or patients who underwent procedures in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Authorities said Kwiatkowski injected himself with painkillers meant for patients and left the used syringes to be unknowingly reused in New Hampshire. He worked as a traveler sent by staffing agencies to hospitals.

The Hepatitis C virus is passed on via contact with contaminated blood such as through shared needles.

It can cause inflammation of the liver that may lead to chronic health issues.

Most infected individuals do not know they have the virus because hepatitis C can damage the liver for many years with few noticeable symptoms.

"Hepatitis C is a chronic condition that can damage the liver for many years without noticeable symptoms," said Dean Sienko, Interim Chief Medical Executive of the MDCH. "Our goal of recommending testing is to ensure the appropriate use of the modern medicine now available to prevent deaths from hepatitis. In order to help potentially affected individuals, we are asking patients to get tested to protect their health."

Hepatitis C can be detected with blood tests and treated with antiviral medications

For questions and information about hepatitis C, please visit the MDCH website or the CDC website.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.