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UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

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UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby Jazznews » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:40 am

53 patients of UW Hospitals face the risk of contracting a deadly brain disease from surgical instruments that were used on a woman with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. She had surgery for a brain tumor in June, but the hospital didn't know at the time that she had CJD. They sterilized the instruments, but routine sterilization doesn't kill the prions that cause CJD. So now they plan to sterilize them more rigorously. Other hospitals discard surgical instruments that have been used on CJD patients. The hospital thinks there is only a slight risk that the patients could contract the disease. They are offering free consultations with neurosurgeons and free psychological counseling.
The hospital plans to continue using the surgical instruments once they go through the heightened sterilization process, an approach questioned by a national expert who said his hospital destroys the instruments used during brain surgery in cases where the patient may have been suffering from the disease.

“We don’t even want to have a theoretical risk for the (disease) to be transmitted,” said Dr. Michael Geschwind, a CJD expert at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center.

CJD is an always-fatal neurological disorder that kills about 390 people per year in the U.S. It is characterized by rapidly progressing dementia, with death often coming within a year from the onset of symptoms...

All 53 patients have been notified by FedEx letter and a phone call...

The letter reads in part: “First and foremost, we wish to reassure you that the risk of exposure to CJD as a result of surgical instruments is extremely low. In fact, there have been no cases of transmission from surgical instruments to patients since 1976, when the standardized sterilization processes now used throughout the country were put in place.”

WSJ

I think they should throw the instruments away. Better then risking any possibility of infecting someone.
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby pjbogart » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:37 am

Thanks for posting. I too had brain surgery at the UW hospital in the last few months, so you have done a great service by warning me about the possibility that I have contracted this horrible disease.

Even though, as the article clearly states, there hasn't been a case of transmission from surgical instruments since 1976, it's a good thing that the folks at the Daily Page Forum have been made aware of this situation so that we can protect our loved ones and ourselves from this disease terrorizing the Madison area.

Vigilance, Jazz! Keep up the good work!
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby bluethedog » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:48 am

It is characterized by rapidly progressing dementia,


Sounds like someone we know...
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby Jazznews » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:37 am

bluethedog wrote:
It is characterized by rapidly progressing dementia,


Sounds like someone we know...



I hope you're getting treatment. :wink:
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby Jazznews » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:54 am

pjbogart wrote:Thanks for posting. I too had brain surgery at the UW hospital in the last few months, so you have done a great service by warning me about the possibility that I have contracted this horrible disease.

Even though, as the article clearly states, there hasn't been a case of transmission from surgical instruments since 1976, it's a good thing that the folks at the Daily Page Forum have been made aware of this situation so that we can protect our loved ones and ourselves from this disease terrorizing the Madison area.


If you read the article, the hospital has already notified the 53 people, but thanks for trying to give me credit.

You never know when someone may need brain surgery. A neighbor had emergency surgery because he had an aneurism. He had gone to the doctor to get checked for aneurisms because his mother had died of one. Turns out it's genetic. So it was lucky he'd been checked and had his removed or he could have died too.

But I guess you think it's okay for the hospital to just keep using the instruments? The article also states that other hospitals discard their instruments after using them on patients with CJD because there is no guarantee that any sterilization will kill the prions.
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby Crockett » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:58 am

"The situation poses no risk to the general public and an “infinitesimal” risk to the 53 patients, Getto said." (my bold)

Its a slow summer in the news...
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby Jazznews » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:11 am

Crockett wrote:"The situation poses no risk to the general public and an “infinitesimal” risk to the 53 patients, Getto said." (my bold)

Its a slow summer in the news...


Right, but CJD is a prion disease, like CWD in deer. For the hospital not to get rid of the instruments is disturbing. Like I said, you never know when you might need brain surgery. And they don't know if the people will be infected and there's no way to tell since there is no test for the disease until it's in the late stages.
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:48 am

Mmmm... Brains... Brains...
Uh! BAD Brains! BAD Brains!
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby lab0 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:44 pm

Hi. This is Lisa Brunette from UW Hospital. I'm writing to clarify a statement in the CJD news story: "Other hospitals dispose of instruments " used on patients with CJD. The full information is that other hospitals use disposable instruments if they have known surgical cases of CJD. UW Hospital would do the same if we had a known case. The instruments they dispose of are disposable instruments, not instruments tht can be washed and sterilized. Despite hundreds of CJD exposures across the country, not one case of CJD has been transmitted to a patient anywhere in the world since 1976 (and there were two in the world before that). It's also important to note that in the lab, prions can survive standard disinfection -- but in the surgical setting, the prions have not been effective in transmitting disease.
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Re: UW Hospital Warns Patients About CJD Exposure

Postby dudieezper » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:08 am

If that is the situation, then they just need to throw those medical instruments to make it safer for the patients. It is better to waste those instruments than wasting the patient's security. It is so unfortunate if someone from the 53 patients could contact the same disease. Angioplasty
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