Recently ABC News reported that a New Hampshire man died following neural surgery; he had a rare, degenerative brain disease.
Reports indicate that the man contracted sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, a degenerative brain disorder spread by infected brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid. It is characterized by rapidly progressive dementia.
Health officials confirmed that 15 other patients may have been contaminated by the same instruments.
The hospital has said that “their focus and concern continues to be with the patients who may have been exposed to this disease.” In addition, several other patients who may have been exposed to the rare brain disease after undergoing neurosurgery that used shared hospital equipment have been warned of the potential risks.
Even though surgical equipment is sterilized after use, the proteins that cause the disease can survive these procedures. Symptoms may not show up for years and diagnosis can only be determined through autopsy.
The good news – the risk of contracting this disease from a surgical instrument is very low and there have only been four confirmed cases in the entire world – none in the United States.
My sympathies go out to the family of the deceased New Hampshire man.
If you’re concerned that you or a family member have been injured by a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, contact the San Bernardino personal injury law offices of Welebir | Tierney to learn how we can help. Let us explain how we can put our skills and experience to work for you.