Surgeries cancelled over fear of rare disease

Published: Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 7:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 7:36 p.m.

LAKELAND, Fla. — Officials at a Polk County medical center have shut down surgeries after they suspected a surgical instrument may have been exposed to a rare, fatal brain disease.

David Daniel, the CEO of Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center on North Florida Avenue, says it was highly unlikely the exposure to the disease occurred, but he wanted to take all precautionary measures. The disease is the human form of mad cow disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The Ledger ( reports that the surgical instruments in question were on a tray at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Officials at the surgical center canceled 10 surgeries Friday and planned to soak all instruments in bleach over the weekend. Daniel said the plan is to resume surgeries on Monday.

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