December 5 , 2006

Judie Havers
Corporate Communications & Public Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 58738

Hospital Takes Precautionary Measures

(LONDON, Ontario) - Yesterday evening, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) cancelled surgeries, including ambulatory procedures at its University Hospital site due to instrument contamination concerns regarding a potential Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). Officials were advised that a patient who had undergone surgery on Thursday, November 30th, 2006, at University Hospital had just been identified as potentially having CJD.

In addition to immediately canceling surgeries and procedures, we have also pulled reusable medical and surgical instruments and started a process to acquire disposable instruments and borrow instruments from other hospitals.

LHSC is working with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Health Canada to manage this situation. We are expecting definitive information regarding the CJD test results later this week. LHSC will provide more information as it becomes available.

These measures are precautionary to protect both patients and staff, as the risk of infection is extremely low. However, the safety of our patients and staff is our primary concern. We are confident that we have contained the situation and that there is no risk to anyone who is arriving at University Hospital for care.

Patients will be contacted to have their surgery or procedure rescheduled. We have set up a patient information line to address patient and family concerns:
1-866-313-5528. We regret the difficulty this situation will cause for these patients

For further information about CJD, visit Health Canada’s website at: