Thursday 21 September 2017

Patients at risk of CJD face ban on giving blood

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

AROUND 20 patients who are potentially at increased risk of the incurable brain disease CJD, after being operated on in Beaumont Hospital, will face restrictions in various areas of their lives.

The patients were operated on with the same instruments used on a person in their 30s who was later diagnosed with the disease which is always fatal.

The patients will be banned from donating blood and they will not be able to donate organs such as a kidney or tissues including bone marrow, sperm or eggs.

If they are going to have medical, dental or surgical procedures they must tell whoever is treating them beforehand.

This is necessary so that they can make special arrangements for the instruments to be used on them if they need a particular type of surgery or investigation.

They are also advised to tell their family about the increased risk. This is necessary to ensure that, if the patient is unable to provide information themselves in the event of medical or surgical procedures, others will be able to do so.

Doctors at Beaumont, who are following agreed international procedures, will be making clear to the patients how they can prevent any further possible transmission.

Surgical or other instruments may be contamined with a prion protein when they come into contact with the infectious tissues of a patient with CJD.

They cannot be completely destroyed during the normal decontamination processes and this is where they can spread CJD to other patients if they are used again.

The hospital has refused to say exactly how many patients are involved on the grounds of "confidentiality".

A hospital spokesman would only say that Beaumont followed the policies set out by the patient safety watchdog the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) and the HSE standards of 2011.

Irish Independent

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