Last week, US prosecutors sought a delay in the New Hampshire hepatitis case against a traveling medical technician - David Kwiatkowski – who has allegedly stole drugs from Exeter Hospital and contaminated syringes, and infected patients with hepatitis C.
With health officials having confirmed that Kwiatkowski worked in at least 18 hospitals in eight states since 2003, and 30 patients infected by him have been diagnosed with the same hepatitis C strain that he carries, the U.S. attorney's office said in a Thursday-submitted request for delay that it requires more time for scientific analysis and for interviewing witnesses in other states.
Though the law stipulates that prosecutors have a 30-day period to indict Kwiatkowski, who was charged with federal drug crimes last month for his actions in New Hampshire, U.S. attorney's office on Thursday requested a delay till October 5; and Kwiatkowski’s lawyers has agreed to the delay.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said that it is working on plans for testing nearly 3,300 ex-patients of Exeter Hospital who could likely have been infected with the hepatitis C.
Noting that the tests which were earlier scheduled for late July had been delayed due to concerns over the safety, health and privacy of the patients to be tested, DHHS commissioner Nicholas Toumpas said that getting the testing plan on track took “a little bit longer than we had hoped,” and added: “We do appreciate everyone's patience in this process.”