Hepatitis C Virus Hits Colorado

When most of us go to a medical facility for a procedure, we expect to come home feeling better than when we went in. We expect to have our broken bones set, our cancer treated and our faulty hearts repaired. What we don’t expect is to come home infected with the Hepatitis C virus.

But that’s exactly was has happened to thousands of former patients at Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado and The Audubon Surgery Center in Colorado Springs. Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York and Christus St. John Hospital in Nassau Bay, Texas are also under investigation for possible hepatitis C exposure from Kristen Parker.

Kristen Parker was hired by Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado as a surgical technician in October of 2008. In early 2009, Parker was required to undergo a urine drug screen. She passed the drug test and returned to work. Less that a month later, Parker was tested again for illegal drug use and failed this time. She was terminated from employment at Rose Medical Center on April 21, 2009.

Sometime in the spring of 2009, Kristen Parker was hired by The Audubon Surgery Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Audubon claims on their web site that Parker was still an employee of Rose when she was hired at Audubon.

Why did you hire her after she was fired from Rose Medical Center?
When we hired this employee, she was a current employee of Rose Medical Center.

What’s not clear is why Audubon claims only those between May 4 and July 1, 2009 should be tested since Parker was terminated from Rose on April 21, 2009.

Patients who had surgery at Rose Medical Center between October 21, 2008 and April 1, 2009 should be tested for the Hepatitis C virus. Patients who had surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital between October 2007 and February 2008 should be tested. There is no information about Kristin Parker’s employment at Christus St. John Hospital, but a phone call with the hospital did reveal that the hospital is aware of a possible connection although they would not give any specific dates. While the chances that you were infected by Parker at any of these facilities is small, you should consult with your doctor if you feel you are at risk.

Parker, as a surgical technician may have exposed thousands of surgical patients when she stole syringes of the painkiller fentanyl. She is accused of taking the stolen syringes meant for surgery patients and injected herself with the powerful narcotic to feed her illegal drug habit. She would then fill those used syringes with a saline solution and these “dirty” syringes were then used on surgery patients. Kristen Parker’s careless and reckless behavior and her total disregard for the safety of patients’ has put thousands at risk of contacting the hepatitis C virus. As of late August the count of confirmed hepatitis c cases that were directly connected to Kristen Parker had grown to 35.

Hepatitis C is a virus that attacks the liver and can lead to other serious diseases including liver cancer, cirrhosis and liver failure. It’s not unusual to show no symptoms until years later. Hepatitis C is a life-long disease. Although there is no cure, it’s important that you consult your doctor who can prescribe a treatment plan to manage this disease. And because of Colorado’s statute of limitations, it’s vitally important to consult with an attorney to discuss compensation for any possible future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering related to your Hepatitis C infection.