Podcast #142: Botulism from Black Tar Heroin - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast #142: Botulism from Black Tar Heroin

1a8507d2-51ff-4a3f-a362-e31140ac1d49Run Time: 2 minutes

Author: Michael Hunt M.D.

Educational Pearls:

  • The first case of skin botulism from the use of black tar heroin in Colorado was documented in July of 2016.
  • Botulism is most deadly toxin known to man and originates from the genus of tetanus and difficile – Clostridium botulinum.
  • Characteristics of botulinum, bulbar palsies of the cranial nerves causes a descending paralysis from the head down.
  • Neurologic symptoms start as decreased facial sensation, EOMI problems, difficulty controlling airway, skeletal muscle dysfunction, and diaphragm dysfunction.
  • Patients with botulism from heroin use need to be admitted to the ICU. Treatment includes airway support and management, then administration of the antitoxin from the CDC.

References: http://www.tchd.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/3591



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