Two people with vegetarian pate poisoning ‘significantly improved’ when infusing the detox

HCMCThe 53-year-old patient and the 16-year-old patient have a marked improvement in health after receiving an antitoxin serum infusion brought by Dr. Bach Mai on the evening of March 25.

According to Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, at People’s Hospital 115, a 53-year-old female patient after three hours of a Clostridium Botulinum antitoxin serum infusion, Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (BAT), has improved muscle strength, showing signs of Listening. Before that, she had severe respiratory failure, lethargy, quadriplegic paralysis, one cardiac arrest.

A 16-year-old female patient treated at Children’s Hospital 2, was infused with 2/3 of BAT vials at 19:30 on the evening of March 25. Three hours later, the pediatric patient showed signs of improved muscle strength, the fingertips and feet had a clearer range of motion. At 1:30 am on March 26, she was able to vibrate her thigh muscles when requested, and her pupils had good light reflectance. Before the infusion, the baby had respiratory failure and was given mechanical ventilation, dilated pupils, weak muscle strength, only slight movements of the fingertips.

Currently, the two hospitals continue to recover and closely monitor the patient’s condition.

On the night of March 25, 115 People’s Hospital received three more patients with similar illnesses, eating vegetarian noodle soup in Binh Duong with these two patients.

According to representatives of the HCM City Department of Health, the clinical manifestation after the transfusion of the antitoxin serum of Clostridium Botulinum bacteria is evidence that these cases poisoned with the toxin of Clostridium Botulinum.

The patients all had the same symptoms of myasthenia gravis, circulatory failure, respiratory depression …, previously eating vegetarian pate. Family members said that on March 20, the family cooked vegetarian vermicelli at a shrine about two kilometers away from home, in An Thanh town, Thuan An district, Binh Duong province, allowing many people to eat together. There was a box of vegetarian pate in the ingredients that was swollen.

Related to the cluster of cases are relatives in this family, Ho Chi Minh City, recorded one death, the sister of the 53-year-old patient and the mother of the 16-year-old patient.

On the evening of March 25, the doctor of the Poison Control Center, Bach Mai Hospital, Hanoi brought two antidote vials of botulinum to Ho Chi Minh City for consultation and treatment.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health requires people to temporarily stop using all vegetarian pate-related products while waiting for the correct determination of the above mentioned meal and food information. The Department recommends that those who have eaten vegetarian pate with the above patients, need to go to the nearest hospital for monitoring and treatment.

Doctors recommend that canned foods, when inflated, deformed often have the risk of poisoning, should not be used. Everyone should eat cooked and drink boiled, using products of clear origin.

Food Safety Bureau, Ministry of Health, at the end of August 2020, warned about Minh Chay pate because it caused poisoning for many people. Dozens of patients suffer from bolutinum poisoning from eating this pate in many localities across the country. Authorities identified thousands of people who bought the product and recalled nearly 300 bottles.

For more than 30 years, Vietnam has not recorded any cases of botulinum poisoning, so there is no reserve of serum or antidote. At that time, hospitals suggested the Ministry of Health to import drugs from abroad for treatment.

At the end of August, WHO funded the full cost and coordinated two botulinum antidote vials from Thailand to Hanoi to save the botulinum poisoning couple being treated at Bach Mai Hospital. The drug costs $ 8,000 a bottle. Some patients do not take an antidote, are treated with plasma replacement, dialysis, mechanical ventilation, nutritional enhancement, vitamin B supplementation, physical therapy, slow recovery.

In September 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) urgently sponsored 10 doses of botulinum antitoxin drug brought from Switzerland to Vietnam to save people with botulinum poisoning from eating Minh Chay pate.

Botulinum is a very powerful neurotoxin, produced by anaerobic bacteria – bacteria that like a closed environment like canned food or food environment that do not control the growth of bacteria and toxins.

When using food containing botulinum toxin, patients appear poisoning symptoms after 12-36 hours or even longer. Common symptoms are abdominal pain, muscle pain, fatigue, blurred vision or double vision, dry mouth, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, general muscle weakness. Finally, the patient has difficulty breathing and is unable to breathe due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles. These symptoms appear slowly or quickly depending on the amount of botulinum ingested.

Patients with severe botulinum poisoning often require mechanical ventilation for an average of two months or more, take months to recover, and may experience complications. If not treated in time, it can be fatal and irreversible paralysis.

Le Phuong