Hepatitis C Outbreak Linked to Injections

Staff Writer | December 1st, 2012

A new study has shown that unsafe injection practices are rife in the medical community. Medical malpractice lawyers in New York, New Hampshire and across the US have seen an upturn in lawsuits arising from basic medical mistakes which in some cases have led to Hepatitis and other blood-borne infections.

Investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have suggested that outbreaks like this put considerable strain on patients and hospital resources. The GAO have recommended a more stringent public health campaign and improvements to federal data collection.

The Centers for Disease Control found at least 18 outbreaks of hepatitis between 2001 and 2011, all linked to dangerous injection practices. The agency believes this is a conservative figure, because of the difficulty in proving infection to be a result of medical negligence.

At least 8 states affected

A recent Hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire occurred after hospital worker David Kwiatkowski  injected himself with stolen painkillers, contaminating syringes that infected more than 30 patients with the virus. The man, a former technician at Exeter Hospital, was charged with federal drug crimes in July of this year.

Hospitals in at least eight states are testing hundreds of patients who may have come into contact with the lab tech. As a contracted technician, Kwiatkowski has worked for hospitals in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania in the past five years. He tested positive for the disease in June 2010 – but told authorities on his arrest he had only been diagnosed in May 2012.

Patient safety paramount

Authorities across the country are investigating Kwiatkowski’s movements since the time he became infected. A spokesman from the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore said they were ‘erring on the side of patient safety’ and contacting anyone who came into the hospital during Kwiatkowski’s tenure.

Alongside the current drug charges, a negligence complaint and a class action lawsuit have been filed in the US District Court in Omaha, Nebraska, against the company that placed Kwiatkowski at Exeter.

Medical malpractice lawyers in New York

The Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York was Kwiatkowski’s workplace between November 2007 and February 2008. The Sanders Firm are top medical malpractice lawyers in New York.

For over 45 years, our legal team has been building strong cases of medical negligence throughout NY state. Medical mistakes from birth injuries to surgical errors to misdiagnosis of cancer cost victims too high a price; sometimes, their very lives. If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical negligence in NY, we may be able to help.

Call toll-free: 1.800 FAIR PLAY (800.324.7752) for a free evaluation of your case.