The Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog

Exeter Hospital Cited for Faulty Infection Control Procedures

Posted by Mark Abramson on August 10, 2012

Government health officials have cited Exeter Hospital for failure to properly secure anesthesia drugs in the cardiac catheterization lab at which accused David Kwiatkowski worked.  The hospital was also cited for failure to supervise workers with open wounds.  According to the report, Kwiatkowski entered the cardiac catheterization lab with open wounds.

According to the Boston Globe, "A manager of the lab told inspectors that a technician who worked at the hospital between April 2011 and May 16, 2012 — identified by Martin as Kwiatkowski — came to work with open wounds, including lesions and a finger cut that required stitches. He was repeatedly asked to leave the work area, at least once during a procedure, because the wounds were weeping or he had blood-like stains on his scrubs, the report said."

Syringes containing powerful anesthesia drugs such as fentanyl are supposed to be kept in secured locations and monitored by those in authority to do so.  This was not the case at Exeter Hospital, according to the report. 

"The cardiac lab uses a secure machine to store anesthesia that requires a thumbprint and password to access. However, according to the report, a nurse in charge of preparing the drugs before a procedure told inspectors that the drugs were typically left on top of the machine while the nurse walked to the other side of the surgical table to put on a lead apron.

“Probably not the best practice,” the nurse told investigators, the report said. On a subsequent visit, inspectors observed the same staff member leaving the room to get the apron.

“Once they get the medication it’s not supposed to be out of their eyesight,” John Martin, manager of the New Hampshire Bureau of Licensing and Certification, said in an interview. “Apparently, there were times where there were brief windows of opportunity where there could be diversion” of the drug, he said.

Mark Abramson

Contact Mark Abramson:
1-800-662-6230 or abramson@arbd.com

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