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Friday, January 17, 2014

Hospital Code of Silence

The case of David Kwiatkowski, the cardiac technologist who was recently convicted of infecting a total of 48 people so far, patients in hospitals in New Hampshire, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Maryland where he worked, with hepatitis C has brought to light an aspect of America’s politically correct and legally confused healthcare establishments.  

This man, an intravenous drug addict, worked in a total of 18 hospitals across the country and from at least 4 of them that we know of, was fired for drug abuse and theft. Did any of these 4 hospitals call the police and have him arrested? Bet they didn’t. They let him walk out the door knowing he was a liability and an accident waiting to happen…to somebody else.

And did any of the hospitals he applied to for jobs afterwards check his references or call his previous employer? If they did, the chances are that all they got were the dates of his employment.  “Mr. Kwiatkowski worked for St. Lady of the Consumption Hospital from such and such a data to such and such a date.” And that’s all the information their HR department can legally provide. They can’t legally say; “Well he was stealing drugs so we fired him.” Because heaven forbid the guy sues them because he can’t find a job. No, that’s more important to the hospital’s bottom line than either having the bum arrested or telling a prospective employer that they should take a pass on this guy. It’s only a HOSPITAL after all, what could possibly go wrong?

I bring this up because of a conversation I had with a person who’s nephew is a registered nurse and also a drug addict. He has also been fired from two hospitals for stealing drugs. He is currently working at another hospital in the same city.

He is also an accident waiting to happen. But because nobody has taken any steps to either have him arrested which would give him a legal paper trail to follow AT LEAST, or attempted to have his nursing license taken away, this man is free to possibly infect people in his care with lord knows what.

There are probably a couple of thousand David Kwiatowski’s out there working in America’s hospitals. These are people who know that nothing is going to happen to them if they get caught stealing drugs.  The worst thing that happens is they have to go work someplace else. Just like the hospitals that enabled Mr. Kwiatkowski to keep moving from hospital to hospital to spread his disease.

And it was all preventable.  

Had some hospital Human Resources person spoken up or if someone had the sense turn this guy over to the police, this wouldn’t have happened. But since the bottom line apparently trumped their common sense, we get the suffering of his victims and their families. These people should fry along with Mr. Kwiatowski.
It's a matter of trust. Trust in an institution that has taken an oath to "Do no harm" or is it just the Doctors who have to pay attention to that one?

But no worries folks, hospitals also give the same silent treatment for bad Doctors who they simply just ask to leave with no questions asked.

I hope that Kwiatowski’s previous employers are held accountable for withholding what they knew about him. They must share the responsibility for doing nothing until it was too late and having the knowledge that they could have done something to prevent it. I hope these people know it and have to live with it.

It’s time hospitals stepped up and start protecting their patients to the level that they protect their bad employees.

Isn’t that what they’re in business for?

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