Patients at North Carolina hospitals trust that their health care providers will not infect them with secondary diseases while they are receiving treatment. However, it appears that a large group of patients at a North Carolina hospital may have inadvertently been exposed to an incurable illness, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as ECJ. News reports indicate that doctor's negligence may have been to blame for the potential spread of the fatal malady.
Official reports show that 18 neurosurgery patients were exposed to the deadly condition after surgical instruments were improperly sterilized. Those instruments had reportedly been used to treat a patient with the condition, and they underwent standard sterilization processes. However, the deadliness of the disease calls for additional sterilization protocols that were skipped in this case.
ECJ is a condition that affects about one out of every million people worldwide. The neurological condition causes serious symptoms including cognitive problems, involuntary movements, blindness and coma. Those who contract the disease have a 90 percent chance of dying within 12 months, according to medical professionals.
Experts have said that the likelihood of infection for the exposed patients is rather low, but the victims are still being evaluated to ensure their safety. Sadly, ECJ can be asymptomatic for years, incubating in patients for a long time before symptoms actually emerge. When symptoms present, patients generally have about four months to live.
Victims who have been exposed to such serious fatal mistakes may benefit from the assistance of a North Carolina attorney. These professionals may be able to provide additional information about legal rights and options for patients that have been subjected to hospital negligence. No patient deserves to be exposed to such serious conditions because of inappropriate sterilization procedures.
Source: Latinos Post, "18 People Might Have Been Exposed to an Incurable Disease in U.S. Hospital: Report" Jorge Calvillo, Feb. 14, 2014