Surgical Tech in Hepatitis C Outbreak Sentenced to 30 Years

A surgical tech with an admitted drug problem has been sentenced to 30 years for placing countless patients at risk for various bloodborne diseases. Kristen Diane Parker, whose shoddy medical practices fueled by drug seeking behavior led to the infection of at least 3 dozen patients, was originally thought to be sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, the judge rejected the plea agreement and has sentenced her to 30 years in prison.

Parker was charged with stealing Fentanyl syringes for her own use. While she says she intended to replace the used syringes with new ones, she instead filled the used syringes with saline solution infecting at least 36 patients with hepatitis C which is transmittable through bodily fluids, especially blood.

There is no known cure for hepatitis C and the disease can be fatal. The regulation and monitoring of surgical techs such as Parker are an issue that has gained more attention with the Parker case.