People go to hospitals to become healthy. They do not go to hospitals and expect to contract an incurable disease. However that is what happened to one woman in Kansas. Due to the hospital’s negligence in hiring a temporary radiologist, the 70 year old woman was accidently infected with hepatitis C after a surgery she had two years prior.
A radiology technician at the hospital named Kwiatkowski was stealing syringes containing an addictive painkiller from an operating room. When he stole the syringes he would leave another in its place filled with another fluid ready to be used on a patient. He was fired from a Pittsburgh, PA hospital for this but did not go to jail. The police were not even informed.
The national accreditation organization for radiological technicians was not informed either. Since nobody was informed on what Kwiatkowski has done he was able to start a new job at another hospital. Then he went to another hospital until he was hired and fired from ten hospitals over four years. None of these hospitals had knowledge of his history when he was hired for the temporary jobs. Some of the hospitals were in states that do not even require most radiological technicians to be registered. They do not even maintain records of disciplinary actions against them.
The cost of not reporting him became clear then he was arrested in New Hampshire and he stood accused of infecting at least thirty-one patients there with hepatitis C when he stole syringes and replaced them with ones tainted with his blood. The thirty-one patients were found to have the same strain of hepatitis C virus as Kwiatkowski. Now all the patients who crossed paths with this man over the past four years and in eight states need to be tested to see if they have been infected with hepatitis C.
Medical technicians are not as closely regulated as doctors or nurses as is shown in this case. There is not a nationwide database of misconduct or disciplinary actions against them as there is for physicians. In August, Kwiatkowski license in New York was still listed as active and in good standing.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.