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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
COLORADO: Hospital Tech Who Spread Hepatitis C via Drug Thefts

February 25, 2010
Denver Post (02.25.10) - Thursday, February 25, 2010

On Wednesday in a Denver courtroom, a surgery technician whose drug-theft and needle-swap scheme infected at least 18 hospital patients with hepatitis C virus was sentenced to 30 years in prison. US District Judge Robert Blackburn, who had previously rejected as too lenient a negotiated 20-year plea deal, sent Kristen Diane Parker to prison for longer than was called for in sentencing guidelines. Parker stole Fentanyl- filled syringes, injected the drug herself, then refilled the syringes with saline and allowed them to be reused on patients - even though she was told when she joined Rose Medical Center that she was probably HCV-infected. Her actions, Blackburn said, were "incomprehensible and unconscionable." In addition to the 18 confirmed cases, another eight patients are believed to have contracted HCV from Parker.