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VA Connecticut Healthcare System


Statement regarding potentially contaminated medical equipment

September 6, 2013

On Aug. 29, VA Connecticut Healthcare System was notified by Medtronic that a leased Medtronic Cranial instrument tray delivered to VA Connecticut had been used at a non-VA facility in New Hampshire on a patient posthumously diagnosed with potential Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).

Medtronic and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services were notified of the potential diagnosis by the non-VA hospital on Aug. 28, 2013. VA Connecticut used the leased equipment on two surgical patients in late May and early June. VA Connecticut made clinical disclosures to both patients.

The New Hampshire hospital was not aware of the potential CJD diagnosis at the time the leased neurosurgical equipment was used on the patient with possible CJD nor was this suspected at the time VA Connecticut accepted the equipment. Per VA Connecticut sterilization procedures, these instruments were pre-washed, and then washed with enzymatic detergents. In addition, the instruments were sterilized by autoclave in New Hampshire and at VA Connecticut. These methods are expected to have markedly reduced potential for CJD exposure.

CJD can only be diagnosed via autopsy which is currently pending with the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Centers with results anticipated in approximately 4-6 weeks. There is no risk to other VA Connecticut patients, hospital staff or members of the public based on this potential exposure.


Release from the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services