Michigan's "serial infector" accepts plea deal

David Kwiatkowski

A traveling hospital technician accused of infecting dozens of patients with hepatitis C through needles tainted with his own blood has reached an agreement.

David Kwiatkowski could get a sentence of as little as 30 years instead of the nearly 100 he could have faced if convicted in a trial.

The agreement was filed Monday. It also contained new revelations that he was fired from two Michigan hospitals and resigned from two others before beginning his traveling career.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Kwiatkowski was fired from a position at St. Joseph Mercy Health System in 2004 after testing positive for a controlled substance. He was also fired from William Beaumont Hospital in 2004 for gross misconduct. In 2006, he resigned from University of Michigan Hospital and Oakwood Annapolis Hospital while under investigation for drug use. Kwiatkowski, who grew up in Michigan, later began work as a traveler sent by staffing agencies to hospitals around the country, usually for temporary jobs. In announcing federal drug charges last year, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas called him a â??serial infector.â??

Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing painkiller syringes from an Exeter Hospital lab in New Hampshire and replacing them with blood-tainted saline. Thirty-two patients in New Hampshire have been diagnosed with Kwiatkowski's strain of hepatitis C. There have been seven cases in Maryland, six in Kansas and one in Pennsylvania.