Pineville LA Injury News: DHH to probe possible food poisoning cases at hospital

05/11/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Pineville, LA—As of Saturday morning, May 8, 2010, three patients at Pineville’s Central State Hospital had died. While autopsies are pending, state health officials reportedly believe food poisoning might have caused the fatalities. A total of approximately 40 patients at the behavioral health hospital complained of symptoms, similar to those experienced as a result of gastrointestinal illnesses. Patients and staff members began reporting symptoms at around 6:30 a.m. Friday, with the first fatality occurring that night, according to information provided by

Reports indicate 11 patients and four staff members were taken to Huey P. Long Medical Center to be treated for gastrointestinal stress. In all, forty patients at the behavioral health hospital complained of similar symptoms.

Three people, including a 43-year-old woman, 41-year-old man and 52-year-old man died. While many reported minor symptoms, the two men were taken to the Huey P. Long after their conditions apparently worsened. Both were pronounced dead at the hospital.

The unidentified woman did not report any symptoms but was found “unresponsive” in her room Saturday morning.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Secretary Alan Levine noted autopsies were to be conducted Monday. Results from lab tests, which were sent to a state lab in New Orleans, were expected in a few days as well.

When the DHH was notified of the fatalities, a Rapid Response Team set out to cease food-service operations in the department’s facilities throughout the state. Shortly after the team was deployed, the DHH apparently determined only food-service facilities at Central State needed to be shut down. The Rapid Response Team consists of epidemiologists, nurses, technicians and members of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Investigations and results of pathogen tests are pending.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers.

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