Wound botulism is exceedingly rare and occurs almost exclusively among injection drug users. In 2008 there was a case of wound botulism in a noninjecting drug user reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We report a case of a Caucasian male developing dysphagia due to wound botulism after having a motorcycle accident that left him with open fractures. The CDC was contacted and the patient was transferred to medical intensive care unit to be emergently started on hepatavalent Clostridium botulinum antitoxin. Early suspicion of wound botulism is essential for effective therapy with antitoxin in this life-threatening disease. If not suspected, this patient would likely have died. Nevertheless, the delay in diagnosis and treatment resulted in the patient's suffering dysphagia and neurological deficits. The patient required a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube and months of dysphagia therapy, supportive care, and rehabilitation. Our aim is to increase the awareness for wound botulism when a patient presents with dysphagia and diplopia after suffering open wounds. If suspected early, the morbidity and mortality from this disease can be prevented.
Kakati, B. R., Dang, S. M., Heif, M. M., & Aduli, F. (2011). Rare case of dysphagia. Dysphagia, 26(3), 337–339. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-010-9300-6