18 patients exposed to rare brain disease- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

18 patients were recently exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease  at Forsyth Memorial Hospital. Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease is a rare but fatal degenerative brain disorder is caused by a rare type of protein that can adhere to surgical equipment and withstand standard sterilization.

The patients exposed had surgery between January 18, 2014 and February 6, 2014.

The specialized surgical equipment used on the patient with the disease was cleaned through a typical sterilization procedure, but did not receive the enhanced sterilization procedures required for Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD). The CJD proteins can withstand normal neurosurgery sterilization.

Death typically occurs within few weeks to four months. The hospital thinks the risk to patients is low.

The Joint Commission which inspects hospitals is investigating this matter.

This failure to properly sterilize may create a medical malpractice breach of standard of care. A lawyer should be contacted to determine whether this case has merits to bring a claim for medical malpractice.

See below for Winston-Salem Journal articles on the subject.



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