David Kwiatkowski, the lab technician accused of spreading his Hepatitis C to patients after “borrowing” their medication, was often loaned out to other hospitals… across the country.
States that may be affected by the New Hampshire Hep C outbreak include Arizona (already facing a MRSA outbreak of similar origin!), Michigan, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Kansas. Kwiatkowski visited hospitals in those states in the last five years.
Recently, the number of patients who may be at risk for Hep C in New Hampshire jumped from 1,200 to 6,000 as the outbreak was traced to more than just the cardiology lab. With new Hep C risk (from just this incident) in hospitals across the country, that number will soon outpace the 8,000 here in Colorado at risk from their dentist!
Although it’s scary, this may finally be the Hep C outbreak that changes the industry. Typically, addiction is treated, the addict helped. But when it comes to medical care, there are other risks. New steps, such as removing pain med addicts from work until they’ve completed treatment, and reporting them to medical boards if it’s suspected they’re “borrowing” medications may be necessary to avoid another outbreak of such proportions.
Keep yourself safe! Make sure doctors are throwing out one use medical items like needles, and support your immune system before and after any trip to a doctor’s office!
What’s your take on the Hep C outbreak? Has it changed how comfortable you are in hospitals?