Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Does this make you want to ask your doctor to double check for clean needles next time you get a shot?

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2013 at 9:12 AM
  • 5 Replies

Nurse Sentenced for Infecting Dozens of Patients With Hep C From Dirty Syringes

by Jenny Erikson

A traveling nurse with a drug addiction was sentenced on Monday to 39 years in prison. While that may seem a bit harsh for a medical employee swiping some prescription painkillers, in this case a lot of people think it isn’t enough.

David Kwiatkowski, 34, admitted to “stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood.” He has hepatitis C. Since his arrest last year, 46 people in four states have been diagnosed with the same strain of hep C that he carries.

He said that he was very sorry for what he had done after hearing from about 20 people that he infected or their relatives. “I don’t blame the families for hating me,” he said. “I hate myself.” He also said that his crime was caused by an addiction to painkillers and alcohol.

First of all -- no. His crime was caused by his decision to commit a criminal act, and then carrying it out. But you know, details, details.

Second -- Why was this guy still working? It’s reported that he was a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states, and that he moved from job to job “despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft.”

Where was the breakdown in communication? Because I’m going to go out on a limb and say that hospitals probably don’t want to hire a health care worker with a history of multiple drug allegations.

His victims include a Kansas patient who died in part from complications of contracting the blood-borne virus, namely liver disease and chronic health problems, and another woman whose brother was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Siblings are usually the best matches for stem cell transplants, but she’s invalidated as a donor thanks to her hepatitis C status.

Does this make you want to ask your doctor to double check for clean needles next time you get a shot?

by on Dec. 3, 2013 at 9:12 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-5):
sarahjz
by Bronze Member on Dec. 3, 2013 at 9:50 AM
I don't get the flu shot.
JanuaryBaby06
by Gold Member on Dec. 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I do not get shots unless it's life or death, or I'll get dropped form coverage over it. I have no faith as far as doctors, nurses & drug companies go for the most part.

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Dec. 3, 2013 at 6:49 PM

wow- what kind of nurse was that? Traveling, cardiac tech, I'm guessing an RN- why was he never reported to his state board, 18 hospitals, 7 states???

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Dec. 3, 2013 at 9:37 PM

One bad apple spoils the bunch.

Depending upon the hospital's system, the medications can be in needless syringes, needled syringes, or vials requiring the nurse to get a separate syringe and needle and draw up the medication. 

Where I work, none of the IV meds come in syringes with preattached needles. Systems like that were (I thought) virtually eliminated years ago, in an effort to reduce needle sticks to hospital staff. The syringes now screw into hubs in IV tubing and IV catheters.

Even if the needle wasn't attached to the syringe, when he withdrew the saline to refill the narcotic syringe, using a dirty needle basically "infected" the saline.

Additionally, the only way to "check" for a clean needle is to see the needle in it's unwrapped packaging.

NO arguement what this person did was diplorable. Ms. Erikson's article is written in a manner that incites fear and panic.

It's basic proper practice, for nurses and doctors to use clean needles, for every patient, for every injection. 

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Dec. 3, 2013 at 9:45 PM

First of all -- no. His crime was caused by his decision to commit a criminal act, and then carrying it out. But you know, details, details. His decisions were driven by an addiction to narcotics. How many cocaine and heroin addicts make sound/good decisions? An addiction to narcotics is no different. What I said in NO WAY excuses what he did.

Second -- Why was this guy still working? It’s reported that he was a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states, and that he moved from job to job “despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft.” He was (as I recall) a traveler. Travelers take 3 month assignments. Additionally he had a narcotic addiction. He also lied on his resume, and many of the applications he filled out at many of the hospitals he worked at. 

I've also heard he was a cardiac tech, which is not the same thing as a nurse, another equivalent would be an OR tech. OR techs are not nurses. I've also heard he was a nurse's aide. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)