Nearly 20 patients at a North Carolina hospital may have been exposed to a rare and fatal neurological disease while undergoing surgery with surgical equipment that had not been properly sterilized, officials at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center said Monday.
Jeff Lindsay, president of the Winston-Salem hospital, told a news conference that 18 patients may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, an incurable and invariably fatal brain disorder that kills 90 percent of patients within one year.
“While the CDC categorizes such risks as ‘very low,’ any risk of transmission is simply unacceptable,” Lindsay told reporters. “On behalf of the entire team, I apologize to the patients and their families for this anxiety. We are committed to providing support to patients and their families.”