Krisen Dane Parker, a former surgical technician at the Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado faces additional charges related to exposing patients to hepatitis C. In early July, Parker was charged with three federal counts, but recently prosecutors added an additional 42 counts of tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit or subterfuge. Authorities allege that Parket injected herself with syringes containing the pain medication Fentanyl, and then filled the syringes with saline to be used on patients. Parker is infected with hepatitis C and by reusing needles that she had used on herself, she exposed patients to the virus. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. About 4,700 patients of the Rose Medical Center were notified of their possible exposure, and nineteen former patients have tested positive for hepatitis C. Parker worked for the Rose Medical Center from October 2008 to April 2009. She was fired after failing a hospital-ordered drug test. Colleagues had reported Parker having "suspicious behavior." Another 1,200 patients may have been exposed to hepatitis C between May 4 and July 1 of 2009, when Parker worked at the Audubon Ambulatory Surgical Center in Colorado Springs, and 2,700 patients may have been exposed when she worked at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York. If convicted, Parker faces prison time up to life imprisonment, if any former patient dies as a result of her actions.
Jamie: A good post full of bad news. Couple this with the records falsification investigation of New York hospitals and you won't want to be admitted any time soon. I know your firm does this kind of work so I’m going to ask a few questions and suggest follow-up posts. Because patients would be reluctant to add comments publicly you may want to offer to speak privately with those patients who have questions about how they should proceed. How about a follow post describing the treatment for those patients who get hepatitis C from this errant behavior? And then would the hospital be liable for what this nurse did? Perhaps a liability theory along the lines of a failure to properly supervise her would be successful? From your firm's experience with suing hospitals is the hospital likely to settle these cases? Is this the type of claim made into a class action, or would separate suits managed by one law firm have benefit (leverage) for the ill patients? Is it likely Parker will have separate malpractice insurance and would this type of behavior be excluded under her policy? Lastly, and you can edit this out, you've misspelled Parker's name in the third sentence. “Parket”. Well done. Steve
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