Channel 5 News/1998 CJD blood donor
Channel 5 News/1998 CJD blood donor
Tue Jan 6 20:39:01 2004

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Subject: Channel 5 News/1998 CJD blood donor
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 19:21:45 EST

Blood Product Quarantine CJD In Utah
(12/2/98) CJD Voice Homepage CJD Foundation, Inc. Centers For Disease Control Circumstances surrounding a Kaysville man have prompted a major national quarantine of blood products. Doug McEwen is dying from a condition related to the infamous Mad Cow Disease. But before he was diagnosed, he donated blood. News Specialist Ed Yeates has the story. The Centers for Disease Control believe 30-year-old Doug McEwen may be the first known case of someone with Cruetzfeldt-Jacob's Disease giving blood. While Cruetzfeldt-Jacob's Disease is not the same as Mad Cow Disease, it's a cousin - which symptomatically does the same thing. Mutated proteins called preons are eating away Doug McEwan's brain. Before the disease was diagnosed, this young Kaysville man routinely donated blood for the manufacture of blood products. Since compounds taken from Doug's blood were pooled with so many other donors - the manufacturer of the blood products has issued a quarantine. State Epidemiologist Craig Nichols says, "The total amount of product is unknown to me. That can be discussed by the company or the F.D.A. The F.D.A. is currently trying to determine whether a recall is necessary and working with company officials to determine the blood safety issues." Nichols gave the sobering news to the State Advisory Council on Science and Technology. While CJD is NOT highly contagious, physicians know someone else could get the disease by coming in contact with contaminated brain tissue. Since the risk for other bodily fluids such as blood is not known - the quarantine is precautionary. The Centers For Disease Control believe 30-year-old doug mcewan may in fact be the first known case where someone with Cruetzfeld-Jacob disease has donated blood. Doug McEwan's wife also appeared before the council asking the State to make CJD a reportable disease. Tracy McEwan said, "My husband is not going to die in vain. Someday, I will have an answer for my three year old daughter who turned three today, who will not remember her Dad except through video and pictures." Craig Nichols says he will recommend CJD be added to the State Health Department's official list of mandatory reportable diseases. Following public hearings, it could take effect with two months. If other blood products from Doug McEwen donation's are recalled, recipients may be given a choice: A patient needing gamma globulin, for example, would have to either accept the unknown risk of possible contaminated blood - OR face the life-threatening option OF NOT taking the product at all. Utah has had a higher than normal caseload of Cruetzfeldt-Jacob Disease this year. But State Health says Doug's case, and the other five in the state, are considered a statistical abnormality, not a clustering of the disease.

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