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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
COLORADO; TEXAS; NEW YORK: Colorado Surgery Tech Details
Solomon Banda
January 19, 2010
Associated Press (01.18.10) - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ahead of a hearing where she will be given a 20-year prison term, a fired Colorado surgery technician recently gave an interview to prosecutors in which she discussed a drug-theft and needle-swap scheme that resulted in 36 hospital patients contracting hepatitis C. Kristen Diane Parker has pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit or subterfuge. She has admitted stealing syringes filled with the powerful painkiller Fentanyl while working at Denver's Rose Medical Center and Colorado Springs' Audubon Surgery Center. News of the crimes also prompted investigations at two other facilities where Parker worked before coming to Colorado. However, Parker told investigators she did not steal syringes while working her first surgery tech job at a Houston hospital. She did admit to stealing drug-filled syringes at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., but she said while there she took care to replace the stolen syringes with sterile ones filled with saline solution. At Rose, she said she lost track of which needles were used, resulting in contaminated syringes being used for patient injections. Prosecutors said they have found no additional victims at either the Houston or New York hospitals.