1 dead from botulism linked to olives in Rome

Thanks to my Italian food safety friend for forwarding this and, as usual, something may be lost in translation.

olives-2Il Messaggero reports the ordeal for the victim began one evening in late August when Mrs. Anna C. decided to put on the table one of the three packages of olives purchased a month earlier in a supermarket. The husband shortly feels the onset of illness, and Mrs C. has severe pain in the belly.

Within a day and a half the couple rush to the closest hospital. The prognosis in the emergency room is clear: “Food poisoning from botulism.” The first investigations focus on the olives. The woman appears in serious condition. The doctors noted in the medical record that this is a case of “sepsis staphylococcal pneumonia with pleural effusion.” She is transfered to an immediate resuscitation room. The husband is held for five days for foodborne botulism, recovers and is discharged.

Anna remains in a coma for almost a month, then her state of health improves. On October 8, after 40 days of hospitalization, the patient is invited to go home in a system of protected discharge. The doctors write down that she had “had a steady improvement that had been weaned from the ventilator ” and then continued clinical monitoring for persistent pericardial effusion share.”

Ten days later, on October 18, the family members of the woman call an ambulance to rush back to the hospital. She died on October 21.

The hospital has an initial autopsy. Yesterday, an order was added for a new autopsy and further toxicological investigations, prepared by the prosecutor. The cremation scheduled for November 9 is suspended. A few hours after receipt of the legal complaint of the family, the lawyer Armando Fergola, the deputy prosecutor Antonio Clemente, ordered the appointment of a medical examiner to determine the cause of death. And at the same entry in the register of suspects for the health personnel who assisted and discharged the patient. A duty, in the first steps of the investigation, also to ensure the people involved in the affair to appoint professional advisers.

“The case is alarming,” said the lawyer Fergola, “We found ourselves in a botulism infection and then to a possible case of medical malpractice. A family now awaits answers. ” The victim left her husband and two children.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time