Botulinus antitoxin is given.
Breathing trouble requires hospitalization. The health care team will establish a clear airway and provide supportive therapy. A tube may be inserted through the nose or mouth into the windpipe to provide an airway for oxygen. A breathing machine may be needed.
Intravenous fluids can be given when the patient has swallowing difficulties. A feeding tube may be inserted in the nose.
Cases of botulism are reported to state health authorities or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by health care providers so that the contaminated food can be removed from stores. Antibiotics are often given, but have not been shown to always be beneficial.
Prompt treatment significantly reduces the risk of death.
- Aspiration pneumonia and infection
- Long-lasting weakness
- Nervous system problems for up to 1 year
- Respiratory distress
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you suspect botulism.
Review Date : 8/28/2009
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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