Testing of more than 3,000 people who may have been infected with hepatitis C at a New Hampshire hospital by an alleged “serial infector” was canceled this weekend, leaving some former patients scared and angry.
Health officials cancelled the weekend testing clinic, even though they had originally asked the former patients at Exeter Hospital to get tested, claiming the logistics were too much. David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter Hospital, was indicted last week for allegedly infecting 31 people with hepatitis C at the hospital, but might have infected thousands of patients in at least 13 hospitals where he has worked. Kwiatkowski had allegedly been stealing syringes of the anesthetic Fentanyl intended for patients, injecting his own arm and then refilling those empty syringes with another liquid-like saline, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office in New Hampshire. Since Kwiatkowski tested positive for hepatitis C in June 2010, he passed it on to the hospital patients who were injected with his used, saline-filled syringes, according to the affidavit.