Med Tech's Arrest Shows Flaws In System

Hospitals in at least eight states want to know how many hundreds or thousands of their patients have come in contact with a lab technician accused of spreading hepatitis C. The man, David Kwiatkowski, has the disease, which can pass through contact with contaminated blood, most often via shared needles.
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Lies, weak regulation and poor communication allowed a radiology technician to move from job to job around the U.S. _ even after he was fired twice by hospitals that said they caught him stealing drugs or tampering with medications.

David Kwiatkowski is charged in New Hampshire with tampering with needles and infecting at least 31 people with hepatitis C, a potentially life-threatening virus. Thousands more people treated at hospitals where he worked are being tested,, including some in Kansas.

Records and interviews conducted by The Associated Press show that authorities could have halted Kwiatkowski's career four years ago, after he was fired from a Pittsburgh hospital. But he went on to work at 10 more hospitals, none of which knew about his history.

Kwiatkowski has pleaded not guilty.