Hospital Patients May Have Been Infected With Brain Disease

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A North Carolina hospital admits it may have infected 18 patients with an incurable brain disorder. Attorney Herb Auger says the victims have a right to know for sure.

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If any of these patients was infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease they may have only a few years to live.

Officials from a regional hospital announced Tuesday that 18 patients may have been exposed to an incurable brain disease. Herb Auger of Auger and Auger Law says that the patients should be allowed testing to know for certain whether they're infected.

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center treated one patient who showed signs of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and then used the same surgical equipment on 18 other patients without proper decontamination measures, according to CNN (retrieved 02.13.2014). The hospital admitted the error in a statement this week, saying the equipment was disinfected but not the the extent required for CJD.

CJD is an extremely rare degenerative brain disease which has no cure and is always fatal. The initial CJD case has since been confirmed through testing, the hospital said.

“This is not a small mistake on the hospital's part,” said Auger, whose firm works closely with patients wronged by medical malpractice. “If any of these patients was infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease they may have only a few years to live.”

A spokeswoman for the medical center stated that there is no quick test for CJD, but Auger says that is not an acceptable answer.

“The original patient had his CJD confirmed through a series of tests,” he said. “Novant should provide these tests to all 18 patients at no charge, or pay for the tests to be done at another facility, given the breach of trust.”

Novant says that the likelihood of any of the 18 patients contracting CJD is extremely low, but Auger says that's no consolation to those at risk.

"Auger and Auger has opened a call center to answer questions and provide legal help to any individual or family affected by Novant's error,” said Auger.

About Herb Auger:

Herbert W. Auger, Esquire is a NC personal injury lawyer with over 20 years of experience helping victims of medical malpractice receive fair compensation. A founder of Auger & Auger law firm, Herb Auger believes in an aggressive results-oriented approach that maximizes the awards his clients receive. He can be contacted at:

Auger & Auger
717 S. Torrence Street
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28204

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Herb Auger
Auger & Auger
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