Former tech pleads guilty in hep C outbreak

A former radiologic technologist and traveling cardiac cath lab technician has pleaded guilty to charges that he stole a controlled substance and sparked a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C in the process.

David Kwiatkowski, 34, pleaded guilty to seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of obtaining controlled substances, which will give him a prison sentence of between 30 and 40 years, according to a Boston Globe report.

As previously reported by Health Imaging, Kwiatkowski was accused of stealing syringes of the painkiller fentanyl from facilities where he worked in Kansas, Pittsburgh, New Hampshire and more, before being arrested in 2012. He would replace the materials he stole with used syringes containing saline solution, which in turn spread a strain of hepatitis C Kwiatkowski was carrying to as many as 45 patients.

At his plea hearing, a federal judge asked Kwiatkowski why he was pleading guilty, to which he replied, “Because I’m guilty,” according to the Boston Globe.

Sentencing will take place on Dec. 3.