Addicted hospital worker exposed hundreds of patients to Hep C

  1. A surgical tech with Hepatitis C and a history of heroin use and sharing dirty needles may have exposed hundreds, or even thousands, of surgical patients to hepatitis C after taking their fentanyl injections and replacing them with used syringes filled with saline solution, authorities say.

    Kristen Diane Parker, who worked at Rose Medical Center in Denver, has admitted to secretly injecting herself in a bathroom and using unclean syringes as replacements for patients, investigators say.

    Rose Medical Center knew Parker tested positive for hepatitis C. She was counseled on how to limit her exposure to patients.

    Parker quit after she was found in an operating room where she was not allowed to be. She subsequently tested positive for fentanyl. Hospital officials then contacted the DEA.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/03/...ss_mostpopular
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    About Anxious Patient

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,101; Likes: 1,979
    housewife and mother; from US

    75 Comments

  3. by   Cherybaby
    That's horrible...not just the used needle part which of course is the worst part of this story. Filling those syringes with saline instead of their pain medication is just downright cruel.

    I think this man should be charged with attempted murder...

    What an embarassment to the nursing community. He should be ashamed of himself.
  4. by   prison_nurse
    In a statement to police, Parker said, "I can't take back what I did, but I will have to live with it for the rest of my life, and so does everyone else."

    Of course she's sorry after the fact. It's very sad this can happen, but how can an employer prevent this?
  5. by   chrisciwi
    That is horrible. I hope this person rots in prision. I am wondering how in the world this is going to play out. The hospital is going to have to contact everyone who could possibly be infected right? Then I am sure that they are going to sue the ever living crap out of the hospital for allowing this to happen. Which this is one case I do see as being a reasonable law suite and a justified law suite.
  6. by   Anxious Patient
    Well, it seems there's more to the story.

    When the Rose Medical Center found out about her stealing, injecting and substituting the drug, the hospital put her on "administrative leave". She wasn't fired. The tech then applied for work at another hospital and asked them not to contact the first hospital telling them she still worked there. I guess the 2nd hospital didn't do a background check and hired her. So she infected a bunch of patients at that hospital also, maybe thousands altogether.

    If convicted of tampering with a consumer product and other charges, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine on the most serious charge of tampering.
    http://www.gazette.com/articles/audu...nter-rose.html
  7. by   Coloradogrl
    This has been all over the news here in Denver and it just makes sick to my stomach! I hope she gets the punish she deserves....but I dont even know what that would be
  8. by   UM Review RN
    I'm thinking about all the folks --kids with appies, grandmas with fractured hips, cancer patients - who thought their surgery would help them heal--and instead, they got this criminal. I hope they throw the book at her and the facilities who hired and kept her.
  9. by   Batman24
    They should lock her up and throw away the key. She's a danger to society.

    And the two hospitals are going to pay millions and rightfully so. Sad so many people are now sick as a result. Poor things.
  10. by   moweli01
    That is sad and scary!
  11. by   Jarnaes
    Just curious how that tech had such easy access to Fentanyl...
    I work in the OR and we keep narcotics under tight control. The anesthesia provider will pull what they need for the case from the Pyxis, and the drugs are kept within their reach/eyesight at all times. Nothing is left out.
  12. by   PolandM
    Quote from Cherybaby

    I think this man should be charged with attempted murder...

    What an embarassment to the nursing community. He should be ashamed of himself.
    Which article were you reading?
  13. by   oramar
    Quote from Jarnaes
    Just curious how that tech had such easy access to Fentanyl...
    I work in the OR and we keep narcotics under tight control. The anesthesia provider will pull what they need for the case from the Pyxis, and the drugs are kept within their reach/eyesight at all times. Nothing is left out.
    I wonder at this also.
  14. by   PacoUSA
    Quote from Cherybaby

    I think this man should be charged with attempted murder...

    What an embarassment to the nursing community. He should be ashamed of himself.
    Quote from PolandM
    Which article were you reading?
    Maybe someone quick to judge that something like this could only be done by a man??

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