Baltimore, MD (July 20, 2012)– The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has been notified that a hepatitis C-infected health care worker, David Matthew Kwiatkowski, who was arrested in New Hampshire yesterday for illegally obtaining controlled substances and potentially infecting at least 30 individuals with the hepatitis C virus at a hospital in New Hampshire, had previously worked in four Maryland hospitals from 2008-2010.
Mr. Kwiatkowski is known to have been infected with the hepatitis C virus since at least June 2010. Whether he was infected prior to this time and was a potential risk to patients in Maryland is not yet known. To date there is no evidence that he has worked in Maryland since March 2010. No documented incidents of drug diversion associated with Mr. Kwiatkowski have been reported in Maryland. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending that patients who were potentially exposed to healthcare procedures involving Mr. Kwiatkowski be notified and advised to seek testing for hepatitis C. The hospitals will notify affected patients with instructions for follow-up.
The four hospitals facilities where Mr. Kwiatkowski is known to have worked are: the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center (May 2008 – November 2008); Southern Maryland Hospital (December 2008 – February 2009); Johns Hopkins Hospital (July 2009 – January 2010); and Maryland General Hospital (January 2010 – March 2010).
This is an ongoing investigation. DHMH will continue to work with hospitals in Maryland as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hepatitis C is a bloodborne viral infection, estimated to infect 1.6 percent of the U.S. population. It can cause inflammation of the liver that may lead to chronic health issues. Hepatitis C can be detected with blood tests and can be treated with antiviral medications.
For questions and information about hepatitis C, please visit the DHMH website at http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/SitePages/Hepatitis-C.aspx or the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/index.htm.