by Astrid Fiano
, DOTmed News Writer | May 05, 2010
This report originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of DOTmed Business News
Federal judge Robert Blackburn has sentenced Kristen Parker, a scrub tech who was accused of infecting several people with hepatitis C, to 30 years imprisonment. Parker will also have to pay restitution to the medical facilities for which she worked. Earlier this year, Judge Blackburn had rejected a plea agreement between the United States and Parker for a lesser sentence of 20 years.
In that plea agreement, the stipulated facts stated that Parker, who has hepatitis C, had been employed as a scrub tech at Colorado facilities Rose Medical Center in 2008/2009 and then Audubon Medical Center in 2009. During those times, Parker had taken syringes containing the painkiller Fentanyl from operating rooms, injected the drug, then filled the syringes with saline and replaced them in the original tray intended for use in surgery. The syringes were tainted with the blood-borne pathogen. At least 35 people are said to have been infected with hepatitis C through use of those syringes. Genetic sequencing was conducted which linked some specimens from Parker with specimens from the victims.
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U.S. Attorney David Gaouette of the District of Colorado stated after sentencing that Parker had been required to make a videotaped statement discussing her criminal conduct, for the benefit of the victims. The video was then shown to victims and provided publicly. Parker also had to sign consent to release her medical records to the victims of the crime.