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Medtronic Devices Linked to Fatal Brain Disease Scare

Surgery equipment rented to a New Hampshire hospital may have been tainted with tissue from a patient who had Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Medtronic has one of its two Massachusetts facilities in the Cherry Hill Industrial Park in Danvers. Credit: Courtesy Medtronic, Inc.
Medtronic has one of its two Massachusetts facilities in the Cherry Hill Industrial Park in Danvers. Credit: Courtesy Medtronic, Inc.
It turns out that surgery equipment manufactured by Medtronic is linked to the possible exposure of several hospital patients in multiple states to a rare and fatal brain disease. Medtronic is based in Minnesota, but has one of its two Massachusetts facilities at the Cherry Hill Industrial Park in Danvers.

The Boston Globe reports that officials at Catholic Memorial Hospital in Manchester, N.H. discovered that eight patients (and possibly five more in other states) who underwent brain surgery this past spring might have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

According to the Globe, it was only last month that the potential crisis surfaced when the hospital learned after the death of another patient who also underwent surgery in the spring that the patient had symptoms of the rare and incurable brain disease.

The equipment would have needed to be specially sterilized and otherwise may have still contained tissue from the original patient.

Medtronic said in a press statement that it was cooperating with hospital officials and state health authorities on the case and also notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

You can read more from the Boston Globe story here.

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