Hepatitis C Alert for Colorado Springs Patients

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There is a risk that patients who had surgery at Audubon Ambulatory Surgery Center in Colorado Springs and Rose Medical Center in Denver may have been exposed to hepatitis C.

Kristen Diane Parker is a former surgery technician who worked at Rose from Oct. 21, 2008 until April 13, 2009. She went to work for the Audubon surgery center shortly after being fired from Rose and worked there from May 4 until Monday June 28, 2009.

While working as a surgery technician, she is reported to have swapped her own dirty syringes for ones meant for patients. She took the ones filled with Fentanyl, a powerful narcotic. She was fired from Rose when she failed a drug test.

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It is reported that at least nine surgery patients from Rose have tested positive for hepatitis C. Certified letters are being sent out to all patients who may have been exposed, advising them on what to do for testing. While it is felt that the risk of infection is low, it is important to be tested if you or someone you know has been treated at either Rose or Audubon during the above dates.

Both the Audubon Center and Rose Medical Center have set up free, confidential testing programs for patients who believe they may have been exposed. If you have questions contact the Rose Medical Center patient care line at 303-329-7500.

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. This blood-born illness can be “acute” or “chronic” in nature. In 2007, there were an estimated 17,000 new hepatitis C virus infections in the United States. An estimated 3.2 million persons in the United States have chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Approximately 75%–85% of people who become infected with hepatitis C virus develop chronic infection.

Approximately 70%–80% of people with acute hepatitis C do not have any symptoms. Some people, however, can have mild to severe symptoms soon after being infected. These symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, and jaundice (yellow color in the skin or eyes).

Sources
KOAA.com
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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