Background: Botulism occurs periodically or in outbreaks in Iran. Botulism is lethal and accordingly a considerable issue in environmental health, although it is uncommon. This study was performed to evaluate the potential predictive factors in foodborne botulism in a 10-year span.
Patients and methods: All medical records from patients with foodborne botulism admitted to Imam Reza Hospital in 10 years (2005–2015) were analyzed retrospectively.
Results: 61 cases were included (38 men, mean age ± SD 28.93 ± 19.14 years). All cases were treated with antitoxin. 6.6% of cases died. Canned beans were correlated with the admission to intensive care unit (ICU), and also, it increased the length of ICU stay significantly (P = 0.007 and 0.023, respectively). The incidence of dizziness and diplopia significantly induced excess demands for higher doses of antitoxin (P = 0.038 and 0.023, respectively). Risk of dysphagia was remarkably higher in cases with ptosis (P = 0.039, odds ratio: 3). While in this study, time elapsed between the onset of clinical manifestations and antitoxin administration was correlated with the occurrence of dysphagia, constipation, and blurred vision, and early treatment did not improve the outcomes. Multiple analysis of potential variables by a logistic regression model disclosed that the independent significant factors affecting mortality were the need for mechanical ventilation (P = 0.000), dyspnea (P = 0.044), general weakness (P = 0.044), and lack of consciousness (P = 0.008) at the time of admission.
Conclusions: Taking clinical signs and symptoms into account upon patient arrival is important and, of course, is a key to further management in the emergency setting.
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