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Hep C tests negative





The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced updated test results Tuesday for patients at Hays Medical Center who possibly were exposed to hepatitis C.

Nine additional test results came back in the week since KDHE last reported results; none of those tests came back positive.

David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician, worked in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at HaysMed from May 24, 2010, to Sept. 22, 2010. He was arrested July 19 in New Hampshire and charged with illegally obtaining drugs and tampering with a consumer product. He is accused of stealing drugs from Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire and contaminating syringes used on patients, at least 32 of whom have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.

The number of patients determined to possibly be exposed at HaysMed is 474. Of that, 416 are available for testing; excluded are 58 patients who have been identified as deceased from various causes prior to testing.

As of Monday, 375 people had submitted specimens, which included patients with lab work still being processed or they have not completed epidemiological review. Among those tested, there have been 353 negative results and three positive results for a strain of hepatitis C closely related to that carried by Kwiatkwoski.

The remaining HaysMed patients who have not been tested can do so at no charge at Quest, 2501 Canterbury. If the site is not convenient, patients also can have the lab work done at their local hospital. Information about additional test sites is available at haysmed.com.

HaysMed's telephone hotline is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling (877) 261-7140.