Crime

Hospital Worker Gets 39 Years for Hepatitis Case

Infected dozens with tainted syringes

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A traveling medical technician was sentenced Monday to 39 years in prison for stealing painkillers and infecting dozens of patients in four states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes.

David Kwiatkowski, 34, was a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states before being hired at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in 2011. He had moved from job to job despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft. Since his arrest last year, 46 people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.

Kwiatkowski admitted stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood. He pleaded guilty in August to 16 federal drug charges.