April 1975

Wound Botulism

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.

Arch Surg. 1975;110(4):436-438. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360100078014

Botulism occurring in patients with wounds has been thought of as a rare disease. A patient with a lacerating wound of his hand and wrist and an avulsion of his fourth finger developed diplopia, dizziness, and slurred speech one week later, followed by generalized weakness and difficulty in swallowing. Repetitive nerve stimulation studies showed signs of neuromuscular block consistent with the diagnosis of botulism. Results of bacteriologic and immunologic tests were not revealing, but the subsequent course of progressing, and retrogressing, bulbar signs and symptoms with eventual nearcomplete recovery confirmed the diagnosis. Increasing awareness and employment of electrophysiologic studies are uncovering increasing numbers of cases.