All surgeries and procedures in a hospital of London Health Sciences Centre University at London, Ontario, are currently being rescheduled. A patient on whom brain surgery was performed on Nov 30 is said to be potentially affected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of the classical type.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is caused when protein like particles called prions attack the brain leading to mental detiortion and ultimately death. It can be contracted via contaminated surgical equipment.
Out of the two types of CJD; classical and variant, the latter has attracted more public attention being linked to mad cow disease.
Fielding questions from the press, hospital staff said that routine hospital sterilization procedures do not necessarily inactivate CJD particles.
The hospital has also pulled reusable medical and surgical instruments and is in the process of acquiring disposable instruments, some of them borrowed from other hospitals.
According to Jean Riverin, media relation's officer for the Public Health Agency of Canada the situation has been controlled and the risk to others coming to the university health center is extremely low.