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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Sadly, there will be more bodies to count

The tragedy of Ruby Trautz’s death is only compounded by the death of June Edith Dunning of 1303 The Terrace, Hagerstown, MD.  She died on 13 September 2006 from complications associated with E. coli 0157:H7.   June’s death has yet to be counted, but will and the death toll will them be four.  This is from an email from Ms, Dunning’s family:
I would like to share some facts with you that caused me to write this e-mail:

  • We were advised on or about 7 September 2006 by the attending physician and the Infectious disease doctor at the hospital that June in fact had 0157:H7.
  • We have a copy of the laboratory report that was transmitted to the local DHMH office on 7 September that shows 0157:H7 was isolated from a 2 September stool sample.
  • We were advised prior to being removed from life support that her kidneys were failing from the 0157:H7.
  • June died on 13 September, approximately 50 hours after being removed from life support.
  • June’s death certificate indicated 0157:H, but failed to include the “7”.
  • I informed the local DHMH office on 15 September (via e-mail) of the nation-wide outbreak they had not been alerted of by higher authorities.
  • We were informed by the local DHMH that the original culture that isolated the 0157:H7 was never delivered to DHMH for further testing
  • We were also informed by the local DHMH that the original culture could not be located.
  • After contacting the attending physician and the local DHMH to inquire if we should delay her cremation, we were advised to continue because the piece of removed colon was available for further testing if needed.
  • We were later informed (after the cremation) the colon had been preserved in formaldehyde and further tissue testing would be very difficult.
  • The State of Maryland made no mention of 3 confirmed and numerous pending cases even after 25 other States had come forward, until we mentioned June’s death from 0157:H7 to a local paper on 21 September 2006.
  • We were told by DHMH that the spinach test results would be released last Friday (30 September).
  • The Dole spinach we provided to DHMH is of the same Lot Number and Use-by-Date as those referenced by FDA as being identified in Illinois and Colorado of containing 0157:H7.
  • The CDC recognizes three confirmed deaths from 0157:H7, however June remains a “Suspect” case.

See also: Bellevue woman died of E. coli, Midlands News, 10/07/2006