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Medtronic Surgical Kit Facilitated Exposure of Deadly Brain Disease in Northeast

Filed September 10th, 2013 edlieber1

Medtronic Inc. confirmed that one of the company’s surgical kits is believed to have exposed 13 patients in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to a deadly brain disease.

The kits may have been contaminated at Catholic Medical Center in New Hampshire before being shipped and then used on patients at Cape Cod Hospital in Massachusetts, reported. It has also been confirmed that Medtronic equipment was used in the first reported case of what is believed to be Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare and deadly infection that attacks the brain. The patient who underwent the procedure with the tools later died.

According to, all instruments in question are being quarantined. Health officials are expected to confirm the Creutzfeldt-Jakob diagnosis as soon as autopsy reports from the deceased patient are concluded. An autopsy is about the only way to confirm Creutzfeldt-Jakob. There are only four known cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob contamination from medical instruments in the past 40 years, none of which occurred in the U.S.

Medtronic said it is working with government health officials to follow the movement of all surgical medical equipment involved in cases of possible patient exposure to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. A spokesperson confirmed to that Medtronic tools were used in seven out of the suspected 13 total cases of patient exposure to the brain disease, commonly known as “mad cow disease.”


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