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50 Patients Exposed To Risk Of Cjd


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
UP TO 50 patients may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) following brain surgery during the 1980s, it emerged yesterday.

Doctors in Edinburgh are trying to track down the former patients but NHS Lothian has been hampered because the medical records of many of the people at risk have been destroyed.

The affected patients underwent a surgical procedure that was subsequently linked with the virus - the human equivalent of BSE or Mad Cow Disease - during a ten-year period from 1982 to 1992.

Doctors say up to five patients a year could have undergone the grafts within that period.

It is understood most of the operations would have taken place at the Western General Hospital where the neurosurgery department is still based.

A material, manufactured from human cadavers, was used as a "patch" for the thick outer layer of the brain, the dura, in neurosurgery. However, Lyodura was withdrawn from the market nine years ago following links with CJD.

The current scare was raised following the inquest into the death of a 34-year-old man, Simon Stratford, in England who contracted the virus from a contaminated Lyodura graft.

Officials at NHS Lothian insisted yesterday there was no need for concern as the risks of anyone being affected were small. They were awaiting advice from the Department of Health's CJD Incidents Panel about notifying patients who may have received the grafts.

Dr Charles Swainson, medical director of NHS Lothian, said: "The CJD surveillance unit in Edinburgh is monitoring the situation, and providing evidence to the Coroner. Many patients who may have been affected will have had their records destroyed in line with national policy on the retention and destruction of records."

A leading scientist from the surveillance unit said the risk of any patient having contracted the disease was "very low".