Risk of surgical instruments

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The Independent Online
There is a risk that surgical instruments used to remove the eyes of a woman suffering from CJD could have infected more transplant recipients, the Government confirmed yesterday. The move follows claims in the Sunday Mail newspaper that at least six patients may have been infected by instruments used on Marion Hamilton, 53, whose infection with CJD was not known until after her death from lung cancer.

A Scottish Office spokesman told PA News: "We are aware that further concerns have arisen because of a potential risk of transmission of CJD infection through contamination of the instruments used in the retrieval of Mrs Hamilton's eyes.

The risk of transmission is lower than that from transplantation of eye tissue, however we have taken expert advice on the level of risk, and the consultants concerned are being contacted. Unless a patient hears from a consultant, there is no need for any individual to worry."

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