Five Cape Cod Hospital patients likely exposed to deadly brain disease

Patients exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease during surgery at Hyannis hospital

According to a release from the Massachusetts Department of Health, Cape Cod Hospital patients were likely exposed to a deadly brain disease while undergoing surgery at the hospital in Hyannis this summer.

Although the risk is low, according to health officials, the patients were exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or CJD. Instruments rented by Cape Cod Hospital were tied to a CJD death in New Hampshire. The patient who died after surgery at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester had undergone brain surgery. The patients at Cape Cod Hospital had undergone spinal surgery putting them at a lower risk, according to health officials. The equipment was rented through Minneapolis-based Medtronic, Inc.

Cape Cod Healthcare has reportedly contacted all of the patients who had been exposed between June and August at Cape Cod Hospital.

Cape Cod Hospital officials told My Fox Boston that although the rented equipment had been properly sterilized and cleaned at the hospital, CJD would have still been present.

The use of medical devices is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is both "rapidly progressive" and "always fatal". According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one in one million people worldwide is effected each year, which translates to approximately 200 cases in the United States annually.


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