NH hospitals discuss drug diversion prevention

BRETTON WOODS, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire hospital officials from around the state are looking back at what they learned from the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital and ahead to how they can prevent future incidents.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association created a committee last year to bring together hospitals, pharmacists, lawmakers and others to explore previous drug diversion incidents and ways to address the problem. Participants will discuss changes that already have been implemented, as well as future plans, at the association’s annual meeting Monday.

In the Exeter case, former technician David Kwiatkowski (kwiht-KOW’-skee) admitted stealing painkiller syringes and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood. He pleaded guilty in August and will be sentenced in December. Forty-six people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.

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