Hospital tech was fired in AZ before working in NH - New York News

Hospital tech was fired in AZ before working in NH

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PHOENIX -

There are new developments surrounding a hepatitis outbreak linked to a health care worker in New Hampshire.

Investigators say he fed a drug habit by stealing syringes from hospitals and injecting himself with the drugs -- and then re-using the dirty needles on patients.

We've learned that a valley hospital fired that same man in 2010 after he was found passed out in a hospital bathroom with a syringe nearby. David Kwiatkowski was supposed to spend 13 weeks at the Arizona Heart Hospital, but on the 11th day of his new job he was fired.

It's believed he came in contact with at least 500 patients at both Maryvale Hospital and the Arizona Heart Hospital.

The state agency that oversees his ability to work in Arizona got word of that bathroom incident and started looking in it, but before they could even talk with him, he gave up his certificate and moved away.

According to records with the Arizona Radiology Regulatory Agency, he was found lying on his back in a bathroom stall and was unresponsive.

Inside the toilet, a co-worker found a syringe and a needle floating in the water. The syringe was labeled Fentanyl, a powerful pain killer stronger than morphine.

According to the Arizona Heart Hospital, Kwiatkowski was taken to the ER and tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.

The hospital says it alerted police and the Radiology Regulatory Agency.

"We subpoenaed the records and by the time we got the record and contacted him, he decided to surrender his certificate and get out of here," says Aubrey Godwin, Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency

In a handwritten letter filled with grammatical errors, the 33-year-old writes "I David Kwiatkowski is surrendering my Arizona license at will because I don't have the resources nor money to fight the accusations and willing to be eligible for reinstated in 3 years."

The agency was never able to investigate further.

"He left the state so we could no longer ask any questions do any testing or anything like that," says Godwin.

According to a witness in that bathroom at the hospital, Kwiatkowski was worried about going to jail, then flushed the syringe down the toilet.

The staffing agency Kwiatkowski was part of also fired him and called his behavior unprofessional and unethical.

But despite everything that happened here, including surrendering his radiologic tech certificate, he was still able to work in other states.

So far in NH, 30 patients linked to David Kwiatkowski have been diagnosed with hepatitis C.

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