- The number of people dying from CJD could be greater
than believed because doctors are fearful of carrying out post-mortems
following high-profile hospital scandals, an expert warned yesterday.
- Dr Roland Salmon, of the communicable diseases surveillance
centre in Cardiff, said doctors were increasingly reluctant to demand post-mortems
following the cases at Bristol and Alder Hey hospitals where thousands
of organs were removed from babies' and young children's bodies without
their parents' knowledge.
- And he said that meant some CJD deaths could be going
- "People might die of dementia but we might not know
what the cause of that dementia might be - is it Alzheimer's disease or
is it CJD?" he said.
- "Cases could be accumulating, particularly among
the elderly, and we have no way of knowing."
- There have been 87 probable or confirmed cases of CJD
in the UK to date.
- Speaking after giving evidence to the Welsh Assembly's
health and social services committee, Dr Salmon said: "There has been
a general cultural shift.
- "People are more concerned to look after their loved
ones' body parts.
- "I don't think that has been helped by some of the
circumstances that have surrounded some very conspicuous cases like Alder
Hey and Bristol."
- He said people had to realise that post-mortems were
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