A fifth hospital in metropolitan Detroit was named in a widening investigation into whether patients were exposed to hepatitis C from a healthcare lab assistant who worked at the hospitals from 2005 to 2007.
Fifth Southeast Michigan hospital linked to potential hepatitis infection, notifying patients
A fifth hospital in metropolitan Detroit was named in a widening investigation into whether patients were exposed to hepatitis C from a health care lab assistant who worked at the hospitals from 2005 to 2007.
The health care worker, Michigan native David Kwiatkowski, worked at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit from July to September 2005. He worked in the interventional radiology department.
Kwiatkowski, 33, has been charged with infecting some 30 patients at a hospital in New Hampshire. Kwiatkowski, who has had the virus since at least June 2010, is accused of injecting himself with stolen narcotics, contaminating syringes and infecting hospital patients.
He also worked at Detroit Medical Center's Sinai-Grace Hospital and Harper Hospital, Oakwood Annapolis Hospital and the University of Michigan Hospital.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne viral infection that is estimated to infect 1.6 percent of the U.S. population. People born from 1945 to 1965 should be tested for the virus, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hepatitis C can be detected with blood tests and treated with antiviral medications.
Although Kwiatkowski tested negative for hepatitis C in January 2006, the Michigan Department of Community Health is recommending patients be tested for potential risk starting in July 2005.
In a statement, St. John Providence said the hospital "does not have any evidence the health care worker was hepatitis C positive during the time of his employment at our hospital, or that he exposed any patients at our facility."
However, St. John, like other hospitals, plans to contact interventional radiology patients who received injectable narcotics during the period of the worker's employment.
Here are the dates the worker was employed at the other hospitals:
DMC Sinai Grace Hospital - interventional radiology from June to October 2005.
DMC Harper Hospital – cardiac catheterization lab from October 2005 to September 2006
University of Michigan Hospital from Sept. 11 to Dec. 8 2006.
Oakwood Annapolis Hospital - interventional radiology technician from January to May 2007, and technician in the cardiac catherization lab from May to September 2007.
For more information, see Community Health or the CDC.
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