VA Maryland Health Care System
Baltimore VA Medical Center Hepatitis C Notifications - Update #1
July 20, 2012
Administrators at the VA Maryland Health Care System will be notifying approximately 168 patients of possible exposure 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 employee at the Baltimore VA Medical Center from May 2008 to November 2008. Kwiatkowski also worked at three other hospitals in Maryland through March 2010. The VA Maryland Health Care System is working closely with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to ensure that any patients who may have been exposed to the health care worker while he was at the Baltimore VA Medical Center are contacted and offered free testing.
Kwiatkowski was recently arrested in New Hampshire due to suspicion of tampering with narcotics. Thirty New Hampshire patients have been identified who may have contracted hepatitis C from Kwiatkowski.
Although it is not known whether Kwiatkowski was infected with hepatitis C and/or engaged in similar conduct when he was a contract employee at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, all patients who had a procedure he was involved with will be contacted and encouraged to be tested for hepatitis C. The health care system has established an information line for patients at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7384. A 24-hour Telephone Care Line is also available for patients and family members interested in receiving more information about hepatitis C at 1-800-865-2441.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus and is spread by contact with the blood of an infected person. It is estimated that 1.6 percent of the U.S. population has been infected with hepatitis C.