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18 people reportedly exposed to incurable disease in N.C.

18 People Reportedly Exposed to Incurable Disease in N.C.

Eighteen people possibly exposed to a rare brain disease considered incurable and fatal - and it happened while they were being treated at a North Carolina hospital.

"Their surgeries were performed with instruments that were not properly sterilized, exposing them to a degenerative neurological disorder referred to as CJD." (Via KMBC)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or CJD affects only one in every 1 million people worldwide and is fatal 100 percent of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The surgeries took place at Novnt Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Via Center for Disease Control)

The medical tools used to treat a patient who was positive for CJD were used on other patients over the course of three weeks. Now, those instruments were sterilized by the usual hospital standards, but the CDC recommends tools exposed to CJD be destroyed.

Hospital officials in Winston-Salem say the likelihood of these 18 patients actually contracting the disease are low. (Via WXIN)

According to CNN, "no cases of the disease have been linked to the use of contaminated medical equipment since 1976."

Fox News adds in the United States, "there have been only four reported cases of transmission via surgical instruments."

Whatever the odds, some patients are still understandably upset over the apparent mistake.

"I'm angry, very very angry that something so little could cost me my life." (Via Fox News)

What's worse, the disease reportedly could take years to show itself in a patient, so answers won't necessarily come anytime soon.

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rayismetoo April 09 2014 at 7:55 AM

I too have been lived thru the medical industries mistakes. I have DM1. I was told by the neurologist that I had just 10 years to live. It took me my whole to find this out, NONE of the doctors believe me. I also have a rare mutation of Myotonia Congenita R894X mutation. NONE of the doctors believed there was a relationship between the statin drugs for my heart and my pain levels. I lost my job of 32 yrs as a purchasing manager. I have gotten NO medical help from anyone to pay the bills. Our government and Obama Care have failed me and my Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio will NOT help me since I used the "F" word with him. Got to love our medical and government.

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Eyehi2 February 12 2014 at 2:36 PM

Hospitals can be dangerous places...

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morrism462 February 11 2014 at 10:23 PM

My prayers go out for these people. I would not want to live the rest of my life worried about this.

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pamiss45 February 11 2014 at 7:35 PM

I lost a dear friend to CJD last year. She had had surgery in 2003 and 2007. There are 4 different strains to CJD with one being linked to contaminated instruments.
In late 2013 the very same thing happened at a hospital in New Hampshire. If I remember correctly there are 14 patients at risk there.
If they know that a patient has CJD according to the CDC they are to discard/destroy any instruments used on that patient. There is no known way of sterilizing the instruments - heat, chemicals, nothing destroys CDJ.

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David..BRAAPP February 11 2014 at 7:05 PM

We loose 98.000 people a year because of mistakes by hospitals HHS says 180.000 patients die in Medicare alone
While a new study says between 210.000 and 440.00 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death, the study says.

And yet we cry about Gun Control in comparison a very low number while most are suicide and gang related.

A bit off topic but you get my point

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mickylitz2 February 11 2014 at 7:50 PM

David.. I didn't see the result of the study but some how I would tend to believe it...Not sure about the numbers but I suspect it's a lot...
People have to start asking questions and stop following blindly, their lives may depend on it..

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rizmarre February 11 2014 at 6:52 PM

I relate, I lost a brother and a dear friend from CJD, not from NC...not related to a surgery, but still with only 1 in a million diagnosed, I am appalled that it could be transmitted in this way...

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hfloch February 11 2014 at 6:50 PM

Accurate reporting would really be helpful. These instruments were apparently sterilized. Should a further process have been done? Should they have been discarded? The original cases occurred in vets who served in the Pacific in WWII. I knew someone who came down with CJD from this source around 1970 so the latency period is long. This is one time that reporting of real facts instead of sensationalism would be in order.

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mickylitz2 February 11 2014 at 6:30 PM

We pay an arm and a leg for healthcare and that's what we get,,,
How about them operating on the wrong limb, how about a Las Vegas clinic may have infected a handful of patients with hepatitis C, and some 40,000 more should be tested for the blood-borne virus, health officials ,Concerns about surgeons operating on the wrong part of the body made headlines this week after The Providence Journal reported that on three separate occasions this year, surgeons at Rhode Island Hospital operated on the wrong side of a patient’s head and how about the cases we don't hear about,,,
The discipline and the accountability in the medical profession is almost as bad as the discipline and accountability within our government and they know how to hide it....

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vtmilitia February 11 2014 at 5:58 PM

I can hear trial lawyers baying in the distance.

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SeaBreeze4994 February 11 2014 at 6:12 PM


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kbcodybear February 11 2014 at 4:59 PM

My father died42 years age, his mother and 5 sisters and brothers died, our son died at 50, and our grandson, 16, within 4 years ago. The Cincinnati Universaity called it FFI. Our daughters attended a Seminar in Washington, DC and found there only 5 familiesin the U.S. and 45 famillies throughout the world. I would to accept any information from anyone. Thank you.

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hattie54 February 11 2014 at 5:10 PM

So sorry to hear about the deaths in your family.:( I don't have much family left either.Most died from heart attacks or colon cancer.The few ones that are still alive,I never see them.:(

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