Skip to comments.UPDATE: UW Hospital says more than 50 patients may have been exposed to brain disorder (WI)
Posted on 07/24/2009 6:45:22 PM PDT by green pastures
MADISON (WKOW) - Some UW Hospital patients may have been exposed to a rare but deadly brain disorder.
UW Hospital officials have told 53 patients they have an extremely low risk of contracting a rare deadly brain disorder after being operated on with contaminated surgical instruments.
The instruments were used on a woman who had surgery on June 11th and died Tuesday from a brain disorder, creutzfeldt-jakob disease.
The hospital got the diagnosis of the fatal disease just this past Monday.
According to hospital spokeswoman, Lisa Brunette, the hospital immediately pulled all the affected instruments and sterilized them again.
Then, through hospital records, identified the patients who would have had open brain or spinal cord surgery since June 11th.
(Excerpt) Read more at wkowtv.com ...
Brain disorder? Voting for Obama?
All this intensive record searching sounds expensive. Shouldn't they maximize the benefit by limiting the search to those under, say, 50 years old?
Oh wait, we'll need "reform" to be able to make cost-saving searches like this...
I am not sure prions can be sterlized or even autoclaved away.
I read through the original story and I just don’t understand it.
How on earth could 53 patients be threatened with this disease from contaminated surgical instruments?
Are they implying that this hospital would use the same surgical instruments on 54 patients in a row, without ever sterilizing them? Surely sterilization of all surgical instruments has been a routine measure in all American hospitals for at least the past 100 years.
“Sterilization does not, however, remove prions.”
Wiki, teaches me something new all the time.
That’s my understanding, too.
Of course sterilizing the instruments might have been more cost effective. It makes me wonder— they aren’t sterilizing the instruments, but they have a record of everyone on whom the instruments were used?
How reassuring is that?
Yeah, I am pretty sure they need to dispose of them not re-sterilize them. I think they can find prions in ashes of stuff that has been burnt up.
Well, they must not be too concerned, becuase they’ve decided to re-sterilize the instruments and will continue to use them.
“UW Hospital insists exposed surgical tools are safe” -
“Friday Update: UW Hospital & Clinics insists no negligence” —
On the local early news they just said that if they (the hospital) had suspected CJD, they would have used disposable instruments.
I posted a little more info at #10.
Also from a Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee) article:
“Prions are particularly hardy infectious agents and are difficult to destroy. Therefore, the standard viral and bacterial procedures for disinfection are not necessarily strong enough for prions.”
"Prions can be destroyed through incineration providing the incinerator can maintain a temperature of 900 F for four hours. In an autoclave, prions can be deactivated by using a temperature of 270 F at 21 psi for 90 minutes. If the infectious material is in a solution of sodium hydroxide, deactivation will occur after one hour at 250 F and 21 psi."
OK. So, just another typical reporter who couldn’t be bothered to do his job. Thanks. I’ve heard of prions but hadn’t heard about that angle.
>> Shouldn’t they maximize the benefit by limiting the search to those under, say, 50 years old?
I had to laugh at that one, though the truth of it makes me want to cry at the same time.
Hey, a little more info on the ages (since you brought it up):
“The patients will all receive neurological and psychological counseling as needed at the hospital’s expense. Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Carl Getto, would not speculate on how much such services would cost, or how long the services might be needed. The patients notified by the hospital range in age from 3- to 83-years-old.”
(From the ‘insists no negligence’ article, link at #10.)
Of course if the health care reform becomes law, they wouldn’t need to contact the 83 year old, because he/she would not have been eligible for the surgery to begin with... /sarc but true
Ordinarily something like this would be nothing to joke about, but since nothing is sacred today in war, politics and healthcare, I must say if we just take the headline alone “UW hospital says more than 50 patients may have been exposed to brain disorder,” one could easily conclude that Obama took the sun this morning.
I’m not sure they even have a biological origin.
I’ve read that patients who die from C-J or BSE are not even autopsied for fear of being exposed to prion infected tissue. Nasty stuff.
I thought that once those instruments were contaminated with that disease they had to be discarded because there is NO way they can be decontaminated.Since that disease is Prion based.Just like Mad cow disease.
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