18 Hospital Patients Possibly Exposed to Deadly Brain Disease
When you turn to a medical professional to handle a major heath procedure, you never expect mistakes to be made during that treatment that could potentially impact your quality of life. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen – and more often than we may like.
According to reports, up to 18 patients at Forsyth Medical Center may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare but fatal degenerative brain disorder.
Sources say that the threat began when a neurosurgical procedure was performed on a patient January 18, after which a brain biopsy report confirmed that the patient in fact had the disease. The specialized surgical equipment used on this patient was cleaned through a standard sterilization procedure – however, the equipment did not undergo the enhanced sterilization procedures required for Creutzfeldt-Jakob, a disease caused by a rare type of protein that adheres to surgical equipment and can possibly withstand typical cleaning procedures.
That surgical equipment was used on 18 other patients during a 19-day period, potentially exposing them to the infectious disease. Hospital officials say that the exposure risk is “very low,” but acknowledges that this is potentially devastating news to the patients and families affected.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob affects about 1 million patients worldwide and about 300 Americans each year, with no known cause or treatment. Symptoms do not always show immediately – they may take years or even decades to appear. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, onset occurs at around 60 years old, and about 90 percent of patients die within 1 year of onset. Patients may suffer failing memory, involuntary movements, blindness, weakness of extremities and even coma as the disease progresses.
Medical Malpractice and Patients’ Rights
While most doctors provide capable, compassionate care to the patients they serve, unfortunately, mistakes can occur during treatment. And when medical mistakes occur, the results can be devastating. Victims may suffer catastrophic injuries as a result – and possibly even death.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a medical mistake, it’s important to remember that you are the victim. You deserve to have skilled, capable attorneys in your corner who are prepared to defend your rights and hold the negligent parties accountable.
At the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood, we have represented patients in numerous areas of medical malpractice and negligence, including birth injuries, surgical errors and more – and we want to help you. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to speak with one of our attorneys about your case.
This entry was posted in Medical Malpractice