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  • National Variability in Prion Disease-Related Safety Policies for Neurologic Procedures. The Neurohospitalist Werbaneth, K., Tummalapalli, P., Gold, C. A. 2019; 9 (4): 222–25


    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that can be transmitted via contact with infective tissue. Variability in hospital safety policies related to prion disease may place health-care workers at risk. We sought to assess variability of safety policies related to prion disease for neurosurgical procedures and lumbar punctures among neurological institutions in the United States. We e-mailed neurologists associated with 2016 US News and World Report "Top 50" Neurology & Neurosurgery Institutions to request hospital policies regarding safety precautions related to prion disease. For institutional surgical policies, the main outcome was concordance with each of the 8 specific precautions described in World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines published in 1999. No similar guidelines are available for lumbar puncture, so themes were identified and quantified among the lumbar puncture policies we collected. Of the 51 institutions contacted, there were 38 responses. Two institutions did not have relevant policies and 3 institutions declined to share their policies, yielding 33 institutional policies for review. Of these, 85% had a surgical policy and 54% had a lumbar puncture policy. Concordance with all 8 specific precautions described in the WHO guidelines was found in 14% of surgical policies. Lumbar puncture policies demonstrated variability in methods of waste disposal and decontamination procedures. There is significant variability in policies regarding safety precautions in patients with suspected prion disease. We advocate for the formation of national or international committees to examine this issue, set new guidelines, and foster implementation at the level of individual institutions.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1941874419846338

    View details for PubMedID 31534612

  • Variability of Safety Policies Related to Prion Disease Among Top Neurological Institutions Werbaneth, K., Tummalapalli, P., Kraler, L., Gold, C. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2018