Hepatitis C Epidemic Strikes Fear in NH Residents

New Hampshire is a very peaceful, tranquil state, so when news of a potentially fatal liver disease infecting  at least 30 patients arose, it was big news that instantly put fear into the hearts of up to 6,000 other patients who have since been contacted and asked to return to the hospital where the infection began in order to recieve Hepatitis C testing. My mother is one of these 6,000 people and though she puts on a brave face a person couldn’t help but notice the stress and worry that she is holding inside. You can see it on her face, it’s wearing her down, it’s wearing a lot of people down. However, through it all she puts no blame on the hospital and understands that the temp agency who hired the man, if anyone, should be held responsible for overlooking the many troubles this man had caused at his past job experiences.

This man is David Kwiatkowski, a hospital technician responsible for the pain being experienced by many New Hampshire residents.  He has been charged with using painkillers intended for patients, then refilling syringes with liquids such as saline solution, and allowing the patients to be injected with infected needles. This is an emotional trauma, having a doctor calling you with the type of news you wouldn’t expect to receive  in a million years–the dumbfoundedness a person would experience in this situation is unimaginable.

Terry Murphy, one of the patients who attended the hospital during the time frame that these events were occurring, gave a heart wrenching statement saying, ” I’m living with this nightmare every day, and I’m going to for the rest of my life, regardless of what their test says. You expect me to have faith in them after what they did to me?” Murphy isn’t the only one feeling this way either, many others are experiencing the same thoughts and emotions as testing is being continued. A terrible situation that could have been avoided is sucking the life out of thousands who are anxiously awaiting to find out what’s in store for them. Since testing began, Kwiatowski has been arrested and charged with fraudulently obtaining drugs and tampering with a consumer product.

The incredibly sad thing about this situation is that it has just begun, there’s still an incredibly frightening road ahead for many. So what is Exeter Hospital doing about it? What could they possibly say in order to make people feel comfortable enough to revisit? They’re doing all they can do, being honest about the situation and offering all the help they can. In fact, after an occurrence like this, it’s probably one of the safest hospitals in the area right now–a fact they’re also trying to make known. So what would you do if you were in this position? What kind of strategies would you use to protect the hospital’s name and reputation?