Exeter Patients May Have Suffered Pain from Drug Diversion
Not only were Exeter Hospital's patients who underwent cardiac catheterization procedures infected with hepatitis C through syringes allegedly first used by an infected employee, but some patients may have also suffered during their procedures because they didn't get enough of the anesthetic drug, fentanyl.
"In some cases they may have required additional dosages, and in some cases, it may mean that some patients suffered unnecessary pain as a consequence of not receiving their prescribed dose," New Hampshire U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas told HealthLeaders Media.
Kacavas spoke Thursday just after his office announced it has indicted David Matthew Kwiatkowski, 33, a former lab technician at Exeter Hospital, on seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud. Reports have labeled him a "serial infector" because at least 32 catheterization patients have tested positive for a genetic sequence of hepatitis C virus that is virtually identical to Kwiatkowski's.