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Background: Clostridium botulinum remains a major threat to a select population of subcutaneous and intramuscular drug users. We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with wound botulism and their clinical presentations to the Emergency Department (ED). Results: A total of 21 patients met the inclusion criteria and all had a confirmed history of heroin use disorder. Initial presentation to the ED included generalized weakness (n = 20, 95%), difficulty swallowing (n = 15, 71%), and speech/voice problems (n = 14, 79%). Sixteen patients (76%) also presented with visible skin wounds and fifteen (71%) required mechanical ventilation (MV). Patients who presented with dysphagia as well as dysarthria and/or dysphonia were more likely to require a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. Patients who required MV and PEG tubes were noted to have a longer hospital length of stay (LOS) due to the severity of the disease progression. Conclusions: Emergency physicians should remain vigilant about early recognition of wound botulism, especially in patients who inject drugs.
Neeki, M. M., Dong, F., Emond, C., Lee, C., Neeki, A. S., Hajjafar, K., … Borger, R. (2021). Early diagnosis and critical management of wound botulism in the emergency department: a single center experience and literature review. International Journal of Emergency Medicine, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12245-021-00375-4
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