The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent out a warning that about 5,700 surgery patients, including 1,000 at a Colorado Springs, Colo., surgery center, are at risk of having been infected by an operating room technician with hepatitis C.
According to The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, federal authorities filed criminal charges in U.S. District Court in Denver against Kristen Diane Parker, a former scrub technician at Rose Medical Center in Denver and Audubon Ambulatory Surgery Center in Colorado Springs.
According to the criminal complaint, Parker admitted swapping her own dirty syringes filled with saline solution for syringes filled with Fentanyl. In an affidavit by Mary F. LaFrance, an investigator for the FDA, at least nine surgery patients at Rose have tested positive for the incurable disease. As a result, authorities are advising 4,700 Rose patients and 1,000 Audubon patients that they may have been exposed and need to be tested.
In the criminal complaint she is charged with tampering with a consumer product, creating a counterfeit controlled substance and obtaining a controlled substance "by deceit and subterfuge." If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 on the most serious charge of tampering. She also faces state charges.