A Woman Died from Diarrhea After 12 Hours, and Doctors Warn Never to Eat These Foods Stored in Refrigerators


A seemingly normal diarrhea that struck a woman took her life in 12 hours! Some people assume that diarrhea occurs when you eat rotten food, and it can be treated with medicine intake and drinking lots of liquid. However, doctors warn that this seemingly treatable sickness could have been triggered by food stored in the refrigerator for quite a while. Untreated diarrhea that has escalated to a more serious sickness should be given medical attention. Always take the necessary precautions.

<The following incident occurred in a hospital and was shared by undisclosed staff members. The story will be told in a conversation format.>

The hospital was in Code Red that morning, and everyone was extremely busy. Later, the doctor finally finished his rounds for the day when a couple who was arguing burst into the emergency room entrance. Incidents like this are never new to the doctor since he sees couples arguing all the time, and most of their arguments are trivial.

“May I help you?” The doctor asked. “Are you hurt?”

“I’m not feeling well. I just have a fever and a stomachache. I’ve already seen a doctor, but he insisted on asking me to see one again…” the woman said, pointing to her boyfriend.

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“Fever?” The Doctor was alerted and immediately focused on the woman’s rumbling.

“Ah, it’s like this,” The boyfriend said when he noticed the doctor’s concerned expression. “We checked the itinerary when we entered the hospital. The nucleic acid test was done last night, and it’s normal. My partner started to have a fever and diarrhea yesterday afternoon. We went to the hospital near our home. The CT scan was normal. The blood test showed that the white blood cells were a little high. The doctor said it was an upper respiratory tract infection and prescribed some medicine.”

“I took the medicine on time and according to it was prescribed, then I took a rest.” The woman concluded. The doctor seemed to be puzzled and assumed there must be something more than just fever and stomachache. The boyfriend’s concern for her health made the woman think he was overreacting.

It turned out that after the woman took her meds when they returned home and rested through the night, the symptoms persisted, and she began vomiting. Her boyfriend began to worry, and this was the beginning of their argument that morning.

“Fever, vomiting, and diarrhea are very similar to symptoms of acute gastroenteritis,” The Doctor said. “Have you eaten anything before the onset of symptoms?” He needed to know if the patient had a history of eating leftover food.

The woman replied, “No, because I don’t have much appetite, and the food available is relatively light. Except for some pasta, there were some fruits.”

“Did you observe what happened to your stool when you had diarrhea?” The doctor asked.

“Who knows! I have a very light appetite. If I look at the stool again, I will lose my appetite for a few days…” Before the woman finished speaking, her stomach hurt again, and she ran to the bathroom nearby.

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A few minutes passed, and the woman came back. She was a little pale, and there was panic in her expression. The Doctor began to worry.

“Doctor, I just looked and found blood in my stool. Do you think I will die?” The Doctor thought that the woman was overreacting.

Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the stool are 9 out of 10 cases of acute gastroenteritis. In cases like this, the Doctor has concluded that most patients who encounter the sickness are female. To confirm his theory, he suggested that the woman have a routine blood and stool examination. After realizing that she had to undergo another medical test, the woman was disappointed. The woman’s boyfriend persuaded her.

Finally, she complied with the Doctor’s request. He sighed with relief since he is aware of the risks of forcing a patient to be examined if it was not an extremely critical situation. Conflicts between doctors and patients are not uncommon, and no one wants to be treated like a lab experiment, even with a doctor’s good intentions.

Sure enough, the young couple argued while they were on their way to the lab to do the tests. The woman was heard rambling about why they needed to get a detailed examination.

A few minutes later, just as the couple was getting the results at the lab, the boyfriend ran back to the Doctor. In a panic, he exclaimed, “Doctor! Doctor! This is not good! She fainted!”

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Everything happened very suddenly. No one thought that her symptoms would escalate in just a few minutes. Eventually, the woman had to be confined for further analysis.

While inside the emergency room, thorough examinations were done on the unconscious woman. Her body temperature was 38.7°C, PCO2 was 28mmHg, and heart rate was 113 beats/min. Additionally, the patient’s systolic blood pressure was 75mmHg, her white blood cells increased significantly, and the procalcitonin in the blood exceeded the normal standard by nearly 200 times. According to the inflammatory response indicators, the patient was going into “Septic shock”.

Furthermore, since the oxygen supply/demand balance at the mitochondrial level of the tissue and cell-matrix is interrupted in patients who are in shock, the patient’s body should be revived. The Doctor notified the patient’s boyfriend to call her family for updates and prepared norepinephrine for the unconscious woman.

“2mg epi!” The Doctor screamed. Epinephrine and a ventilator were used on the patient but to no avail. Electric defibrillation and norepinephrine still have no effect. After a few more attempts to revive the patient, she was asystole. The Doctor called it.

The shocked boyfriend did not speak or move. When he suddenly came to and realize what was going on, he instantly fainted. How did a common fever and diarrhea kill a person? What caused her sepsis?

It turned out that earlier in the day, the woman ate a fruit that has been stored inside the refrigerator for several days. The fruit has started to become contaminated with bacteria and fungi. Not washing the fruit thoroughly before she ate it must have caused the early stages of diarrhea.

Bacteria breed in food after only a few hours. Although other food can be stored in the refrigerator, extreme cold temperatures can only slow down its growth, but not prevent them. When these bacteria enter the human body through stored food, it will cause infection and discomfort, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and enteritis, and in severe cases, it will cause bacteremia and sepsis. Cases such as these are considered a very common accident. It could have been avoided. However, since people are unaware, it could lead to irreparable consequences.

Hours before the onset of the disease, the woman had minor symptoms. She began to have colds which led to upper respiratory infection, then it escalated to stomachache that later led to gastroenteritis. The symptoms of sepsis are similar to these diseases causing people to assume their condition is easy to mend. Even doctors can misdiagnose patients due to these symptoms.

For a clear explanation, the situation in the story is also called ‘foodborne disease’, commonly known as ‘food poisoning.’

▼ How do we prevent incidences of Food Poisoning:

① Meat products, especially the ones that are placed in cans, should be stored according to the instructions on the packaging and placed in ventilated areas. Pre-cooked food, such as stewed vegetables, should be reheated in a microwave before serving them and should not be stored in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Fresh meat is best kept in ziplock bags and stored in the freezer.

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② Do not wash fruits and vegetables before storing them in the refrigerator. Seal them in zip lock bags before storing them. Always remember: fruits and vegetables are not to be stored for more than 3 days.

③ Essential food such as rice, noodles, and flour can be stored at room temperature. However, do not forget to ventilate the room.

④ Leftover food should be placed in ziplock bags and can be stored in the chiller section of the fridge. However, do not store for more than 24 hours.

▼ Additionally, food poisoning has typical symptoms that are difficult to distinguish. If you are suspicious about the food you have taken, and starting to have symptoms of poisoning, see your physician immediately.

① The growth of bacteria in the human body is relatively short. The incubation period may be from a few minutes to a few hours, and the symptoms may appear.

② Symptoms will surface, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

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③ Animal and plant food poisoning are the usual cases during summer and autumn, while botulism and nitrite poisoning are the usual cases during winter and spring.

Images credits: © Today’s Headlines


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