A former employee of Exeter Hospital has been arrested and charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product, following a multi-agency investigation involving the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Criminal Investigations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
David Kwiatkowski was employed as a medical technician in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Exeter Hospital between April 2011 and May 2012. According to a recently filed affidavit in federal court in New Hampshire, witnesses observed Kwiatkowski leaving the laboratory during procedures, occasionally sweating heavily and attending procedures on his off-days. One witness claimed Kwiatkowski had track marks on his arms.
The affidavit alleges Kwiatkowski would divert drugs from patients of the hospital by stealing syringes containing Fentanyl, a powerful anesthetic, intended for patients, injecting himself with the drug, and replacing the drug in the syringe with another liquid, which was then injected into the patient. Kwiatkowski has Hepatitis C, and officials believe his drug diversions resulted in at least 30 individuals becoming infected with the disease.
“The evidence gathered to date points irrefutably to Kwiatkowski as the source of the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital,” said U.S. Attorney John Kacavas. “With his arrest, we have eliminated the menace this ‘serial infector’ posed to public health and safety.”
Kwiatkowski was arrested last week at a hospital in Massachusetts where he is currently undergoing medical treatment. If convicted, Kwiatkowski faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for tampering with a consumer product and four years in prison for obtaining controlled substances by fraud. Each offense also is punishable by a $250,000.00 fine and a term of supervised release following any sentence of imprisonment, according to FDA.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the New Hampshire State Police, and the Exeter, New Hampshire Police Department also participated in the investigation.