Hospital employee stole patients’ shots, spread hepatitis C

A former hospital employee 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.

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 said.

She had hepatitis C, which she believes she contracted through using heroin and sharing dirty needles while she lived in New Jersey in 2008…

Nine patients who had surgery there during that time have tested positive for hepatitis C. Investigators are looking into whether they contracted the virus from Parker.

According to an affidavit filed by an investigator with the Food and Drug Administration, 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 to be in an operating room where she was not allowed to be. She subsequently tested positive for fentanyl. Hospital officials then contacted the DEA.

I’ve worked for several firms where we performed random drug tests on employees who drove company vehicles. The question and cost of liability took precedence over the price of testing.

Here, we’re looking at hospitals that had technicians distributing drugs and medications to patients – and didn’t have random drug test procedures in place? And no one noticed patients weren’t responding to the shots they supposedly had?

Cripes! I realize they’ll use privacy as the excuse; but, there’s really only one reason why managers in any business skimp on safety. They’re cheapskates. Beancounters instead of for-real managers.

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