All patients with higher CJD risk now contacted

Beaumont hospital helpline received about 1,400 calls

Up to 20 patients treated at Beaumont have a slightly higher risk of developing CJD.

Up to 20 patients treated at Beaumont have a slightly higher risk of developing CJD.

Mon, Jul 22, 2013, 12:41

All the people treated in Beaumont hospital with medical instruments previously used on a patient with a degenerative brain disease have been contacted.

The hospital informed up to 20 people they had a slightly higher risk of contracting the disease, a spokesman said today. He declined, however, to give the exact number of patients affected.

They were told they will need to take precautions to prevent transmission of the disease in the unlikely event they have been infected.

Officials estimated the likelihood of them getting the disease at one in 400,000 compared to the normal prevalence rate of one in a million.

Beaumont set up a special helpline on Friday for people worried they may have been affected. Some 1,300 calls were received on Friday, 44 on Saturday and a further 15 on Sunday. The spokesman said the helpline will remain open for a short while longer.

CJD, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, is a degenerative disease that affects the structure of the brain and leads to death.

Medical patients who have been treated with instruments which were not properly cleaned after being used on a patient with CJD have a greater chance of developing the disease.

There is no simple test (such as a blood test) available to show whether a patient has CJD which means that regular, long-term monitoring is recommended for those at a higher risk.