Plea Rejected in Case of Hepatitis Infections

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    DENVER — Suggesting that 20 years in prison was not enough punishment for the crime, a federal judge on Friday rejected a plea agreement for a former hospital technician and drug user who admitted that she exposed hundreds of patients in her care to hepatitis C.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/23/us/23infect.html
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  4. 22 Comments so far...

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    Her irresponsibility and callousness with the lives of patients is bad enough, but exposing hundreds of patients and infecting an unknown number of them with a possibly life-threatening disease earns her more than 20 years. She's admitted it on tape; give her the maximum sentence and find a way to make it longer. I have no compassion towards people like this and she deserves every second she'll spend behind bars.
    HeartsOpenWide and Heogog53 like this.
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    i agree. When I saw that she could get 20 years out of it, I was appalled. She deserves so much more than this.
    christinacannonRN and Heogog53 like this.
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    OMG! I'm speechless... Lock her up and throw away the key! How did they find out she was doing this?
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    It was a previous thread in the news here on allnurses.com. It was at two different hospitals, too.
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    that is terrible!
    reminds me of what happened in a hospital near me
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/10/08...ses/index.html
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    I don't understand how these nurses still have their licenses at hand! Unless they were proven innocent, but I have not seen an article stating so.
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    The woman in this Hepatitis case was not a nurse- she was a tech, first and most important.
    So she didn't have a license to loose- which meant that she went from one hospital to another without disclosing what she had done at the first one. There was no state board to send out any restriction notices or suspension of license; that's how she got away with it, plus I believe that she left the first place before they made the discovery that she had indeed stolen narcotics in the first place.
    As for the nurse who reused the stress challenge solutions- I just don't get it. She was there for how long before it was traced? Of course, it takes time for SOMEONE to notice inconsistencies and then do the investigation from day one onwards....
    Sad to say, the tech has stolen a lot of peoples' peace of mind forever, as well as committed some of them to die from liver failure. My dad died of Hep C which he got in the early 70's- it eventually killed him in 1993- bad blood transfusion.
    Uncharitable as it may be, I hope the judge throws the maximum sentence at her. She will still probably walk out of prison eventually, given the overcrowding and all that. Eventually, though, I hope she goes through the misery of liver failure and is denied a transplant. I don't care that she was addicted to drugs; she could have stolen them and done it using sterile technique. I know the rhetoric that junkies can't help the destruction they cause because they are so focused on getting that next fix.....she just didn't care that she was hurting who knows how many other people cos she wanted what she wanted NOW.
    I've a friend who has been clean and sober 21 years now, and while he admits that he was a "scumbag" and a "less than human" being at the time of his addiction, he didn't cause nearly the devastation she has.
    NurseSnarky, leslie :-D, and Lovely_RN like this.
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    Yet persons wonder why clinical settings are getting more and more stringent with background checks.

    Do not know what or if this person's final employers did any sort of background check, or if it was only statewide, but clearly someone with a recent arrest record, and discharged from several previous employers within the preceeding year, should have set off some alarms. I mean are they *that* hard up for surg techs? Have we learned nothing from the murdering (former) nurse Charles Cullen? It is the same thing all over again, healthcare worker acting oddly, and of strange events occur when they were/are present, but nothing is done. They are terminated of course, but move on someplace else and it all starts up again. This woman was by all accounts wandering around OR suites of major hospitals out of her mind on narcotics, but it took about four jobs before she was finally stopped.

    A second, but more interesting point, who is drawing up syringes with medications subject to abuse, then leaving them "lying" around "unattended". One realises scrub nurses are going the way of the Dodo, replaced by an ever expanding litany of surgical "techs", but still.
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    I am SO glad her plea deal was rejected -- I live in Colorado and my father was one of the thousands of patients that had to be tested for Hep C because he was hospitalized at one of her facilities for a short time. It was nerve racking enough having to wait for those results - I can't imagine what we would have done had his test result come back positive.

    This incident sparked big investigations at various Denver hospitals which ultimately resulted in the firing of several nurses (which I believe other posters have already alluded to)....but I think those investigations were too short lived. It's frustrating to me on another level in that I am a pre-nursing student, applying this summer to begin next year...it's hard enough to get into a good school these days because of a lack of teachers, and now the job market stinks for graduates....yet hospitals refuse to spend the money to do background checks and continue to monitor current professionals for issues of abuse, leaving bad nurses in spots that COULD be going to the rest of us. UGH! OK, I'll get off my soap box now.... ;o)


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