Could you imagine going to the hospital for surgery and leaving because everything went successfully? Most people can imagine that, and hope it’s exactly what happens whenever they go to the doctor. Now imagine this, six months after, you’re asked to return to the hospital for blood tests. When you ask what has occurred to make them need to test your blood, they explain that you might have been exposed to hepatitis C or another disease during your procedure because of a negligent employee. Now that’s exactly what no one wants before going into a hospital, but unfortunately it does occur. Over 6,000 patients in a six month period had this same even happen in the Denver area, and it happens more often than you would expect.
Patients Exposed to Hep C
So how did this happen? A Medical malpractice attorney in West Palm Beach explains that a medical nurse who was addicted to painkillers used the syringes on herself and then refilled them with saline solution. It’s a pretty terrible case. When medical staff reused the syringes, they were exposed to hepatitis C because of Parker, who was found in an operating room where she didn’t belong and then fired. After being tested for drugs, which came back positive, state employees determined that she was the link between confirmed hepatitis cases and that hospital. Parker was arrested and jailed on criminal charges and faces up to 34 years in prison if convicted.
So was the hospital at fault for hiring Parker? Some people believe so. Parker had worked at other hospitals throughout the United States before and was let go because of poor performance. Similar conduct occurred in New York, where she even had two prior arrests that weren’t uncovered because they were misdemeanors. Regardless of whether the hospital is partially to blame or not, there need to be changes in how they handle drugs in order to keep patients safe and repair the breach in public trust that 6000 Denver residents unfortunately experienced first hand. Although there was nothing anyone other than Parker could have done to stop this event from happening, and this will always be a risk since you don’t ever know who is giving you needles, you can always request that hospital staff remove syringes from their original packaging in front of you to reduce the risk of something like this occurring to you.