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From: TSS ()
Subject: Man Dies of Cruetzfeldt-Jacob's Disease two months after brain surgery UTAH
Date: January 19, 2006 at 4:44 pm PST

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January 19th, 2006Local News
News / Local / Local Stories


Man Dies of Cruetzfeldt-Jacob's Disease
January 19th, 2006 @ 3:40pm
Ed Yeates Reporting

A Utah man has died from the rare brain wasting disease called Cruetzfeldt-Jacob's Disease. Even though the chances of passing on any possible infection is almost zero, McKay Dee Hospital is taking some extra precautions.

The man from northern Utah actually died almost two months ago after he had unrelated brain surgery at McKay Dee. The diagnosis of Cruetzfeldt-Jacob's Disease, or CJD, was confirmed the following month by a Cleveland lab.

Once, McKay Dee Hospital found out they were dealing with a CJD case, they followed the CDC guidelines, which require a very stringent sterilization of surgical equipment. Instruments are routinely washed and sterilized at 270 degrees for four minutes, but in this case…

Richard Arbogast, M.D., McKay Dee Medical Director: "The CDC recommendation for suspected cases involves either soaking the instruments in some very caustic material, such as sodium hydroxide, or taking the equipment and sterilize, after washing it, for a much longer period - up to eighteen minutes at the same temperature."

The last time contaminated surgical equipment was reported was 25 years ago. Even though not required, McKay Dee also elected to notify 155 other patients who had brain or spine surgery that same week.

Dr. Arbogast: "It was consistent without organizational values to completely disclose. And since we couldn't be absolutely sure, we felt the right thing to do was to go ahead and notify these patients."

The protein prions, as they're called, which cause CJD are the same that killed Tracy McEwen of Layton and Ellie Steiger of Taylorsville in 1998. While CJD destroys the brain, similar to so-called Mad Cow Disease, it's considered a variant strain -- not directly related.

There might be a genetic predisposition in about 15% of the cases, but 85% occur randomly with no known cause. One case per million, per year, that's how rare CJD is. Utah had one case last year, but none in the previous three years.


http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=152424


TSS

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