Hep. C scare spreads to N.Y. hospital

2:58 PM, Jul 15, 2009   |    comments
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Kristen Parker is accused of swapping out a powerful painkiller called Fentanyl for saline while she worked at Rose Medical Center. Investigators suspect she injected herself with Fentanyl and then filled up the dirty syringes with saline before placing them back on an anesthesiologist's cart.

Parker has hepatitis C and Rose has sent letters to 4,700 patients who had surgery at Rose or at the Wolf Building, warning them they could have been exposed to the disease. She also could have exposed another 1,000 patients at the Audubon Surgical Center in Colorado Springs.

Now a hospital in Westchester County, New York is notifying about 2,800 patients that they could have been exposed to hepatitis C because Parker worked there last year before she moved to Colorado.

At least 10 people connected to Rose have tested positive for hepatitis C, but investigators aren't positive Parker is the source of the infection.

No patients at the Westchester County hospital contracted hepatitis C from there, but the hospital is alerting patients as a precaution.

Parker is in federal custody and the U.S. Attorney's office says she could potentially face more charges from the New York investigation.

If Parker is found guilty on all charges she currently faces, she could face more than 30 years in prison. If the court finds her actions seriously harmed someone, she could face additional prison time. If the court finds her actions caused death, Parker could face life in prison.

Parker claims she did not know she had hepatitis C when she started working at Rose, but Rose maintains the hospital told her she was infected after getting back positive test results.

Rose has offered free testing to anyone who may have been exposed to the disease. The Westchester County hospital has done the same thing.

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