October 16, 2012
Infection control experts at the VA Maryland Health Care System have completed their investigation as to whether any patients were exposed to hepatitis C after learning that David Matthew Kwiatkowski, a health care worker suspected of transmitting the virus to patients in New Hampshire, had previously worked as a contract Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist (DRT) in the Radiology Department at the Baltimore VA Medical Center from May 22, 2008 to November 7, 2008.
Kwiatkowski, who was employed through Advance Med LLC at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, also worked at three other hospitals in Maryland through March 2010. The VA Maryland Health Care System continues to work closely with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in regards to this issue.
An initial review of patient records indicated that 168 patients had procedures that involved the contract technologist. After an additional review, it was determined that 51 patients needed to be contacted and offered free testing for hepatitis C. All 51 patients were contacted by phone or sent a certified letter from the VA Maryland Health Care System to encourage them to be tested. As a precaution and to safeguard patient well-being, the VA Maryland Health Care System also contacted an additional 17 patients that had procedures in a second Radiology room to which the technologist had possible access.
All hepatitis C testing has been completed at the VA Maryland Health Care System, with one patient testing positive for the same genotype or similar strain of the virus as the contract technologist. All testing results were reported directly to the patients.
The VA Maryland Health Care System is committed to providing quality health care and ensuring the safety of its patients and staff from possible infectious diseases. The health care system is cooperating with federal and state health officials during their ongoing investigation.