Sunday, September 17, 2006

Botulism in Carrot Juice

Today the FDA also reported three cases of botulism poisoning caused by unrefrigerated carrot juice in Georgia.

One of the most disturbing cases I have had he fortune to care for was an individual with the first reported case of botulism that came from their own gut after ingesting contaminated honey from their kitchen cabinet. What was unique about the case was that the person ingested the bacteria, and instead of the bacterium being killed in their stomach acid, this individual had had previous gastric bypass surgery and the bateria were able to grow inside the blind Roux-en-Y pouch of the gastric bypass, secreting the poisonous toxin before it was diagnosed by it's classic "descending paralysis". The case was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (Reference: "Botulism in an adult associated with food-borne intestinal infection with Clostridium botulinum," Chia J. K., Clark J. B., Ryan C. A., Pollack M. N Engl J Med 1986; 315:239-241, Jul 24, 1986.). It was sad, because the person was in the hospital for months on end, paralyzed in every muscle except he could twitch his left index finger to communicate "yes" and "no" answers. Cases like this stay with you.

So when I saw this notice, I pray the individuals haven't had to suffer the fate of my former patient. Please, heed today's warning. Botulism poisoning can be disastrous.

-Wes

1 comment:

Moof said...

Dr. Wes - you've been tagged!