Maine hospital confirms patient had rare brain disorder

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2016 9:27 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's largest hospital has confirmed it treated a patient diagnosed with a potentially deadly prion disease, a rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder.

Officials at Maine Medical Center in Portland learned this week the patient had the extremely rare brain disease. On Friday, a Case Western University surveillance center confirmed the diagnosis as Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CRYTS'-felt YAH'-kob) disease.

The hospital postponed elective surgeries that were set for Wednesday and Thursday while it decontaminated surgical equipment and relied on loaned equipment for emergency surgeries. Full operations will resume Monday.

Hospital officials say there's no risk of exposure to patients or staff.

The hospital is now reaching out to a small number of patients who were treated before the initial report showing the patient had the disease. But officials say the risk is "exceedingly low."