Product News and Recalls

CDC: Decontamination Procedures Not Followed After Creutzfeldt-Jakob Patient Treated

CNN reports that several patients who underwent surgery at a Massachusetts Hospital may have been exposed to rare and dangerous disease due to improper sterilization of medical equipment from another facility in New Hampshire.

The medical equipment, rented by Medtronic Inc., was initially used on a patient with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. After that initial procedure, the equipment was sterilized with heat, which is known to not be effective in eliminating Creutzfeldt-Jakob contamination. In other words, Medtronic did not adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations about sterilization, thus putting in jeopardy the unsuspecting patients at Cape Cod Hospital in Massachusetts and Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The Department of Health and Human Services explained that regular sterilization measures, such as decontaminating by heat, does not kill the components that cause this rare disease.

The CDC noted that no cases of this disease have been linked to use of contaminated equipment since 1976, and that families and the public are not in danger from the individuals who were exposed because this disease cannot be transmitted through air or by touch. The World Health Organization is now pushing for more stringent sterilization methods, such as “the use of a caustic chemical like sodium hydroxide to disinfect equipment that . . .could cause . . .Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.”

Lopez McHugh is investigating and accepting incidents of medical malpractice involving the failure to follow industry-standard procedures. If you suffered a significant injury or a loved one died because of a hospital’s failure to follow the standard of care, resulting in a misdiagnosis or other medical injury, then you can contact a Lopez McHugh attorney to discuss your legal options, with no obligation.