Plant Poisoning Hemlock Publications (78)
Plant Poisoning Hemlock Publications
Cattle and horses are particularly at risk of poisoning by Colchicum autumnale (meadow saffron), Conium maculatum (poison hemlock), Datura stramonium (jimson weed), Equisetum palustre (marsh horsetail), Senecio spp. (ragwort and groundsel) and Taxus baccata (European yew). This review of poisonous alkaloid-containing plants describes the distribution of these plants, conditions under which poisoning occurs, active toxic principles involved and subsequent clinical signs observed.
The case of a 6-year-old girl who was admitted to the emergency department with complaints of burning sensation in mouth, hypersalivation, tremor in hands and ataxia after ingestion of poison hemlock is presented here with clinical and laboratory features. In this case, we aim to report that accidental ingestion of plants resembling vegetables that are consumed daily can lead to serious complications and even death.
Additionally, spin-off benefits resulting from the animal research have provided novel compounds, new techniques, and animal models to study human health conditions (biomedical research). The Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory has become an international leader of poisonous plant research as evidenced by the recent completion of the ninth International Symposium on Poisonous Plant Research held July 2013 in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China. In this article, we review plants that negatively impact embryo/fetal and neonatal growth and development, with emphasis on those plants that cause birth defects. Although this article focuses on the general aspects of selected groups of plants and their effects on the developing offspring, a companion paper in this volume reviews current understanding of the physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of toxicoses and teratogenesis.
The purpose of this article is to determine the 15 most common poisonous plant enquiries to the NZNPC and provide a review of current literature, discussing the symptoms that might arise upon exposure to these poisonous plants and the recommended medical management of such poisonings.
Call data from the NZNPC telephone collection databases regarding human plant exposures between 2003 and 2010 were analysed retrospectively. The most common plants causing human poisoning were selected as the basis for this review. An extensive literature review was also performed by systematically searching OVID MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar. Further information was obtained from book chapters, relevant news reports and web material.
For the years 2003-2010 inclusive, a total of 256,969 enquiries were received by the NZNPC. Of these enquiries, 11,049 involved exposures to plants and fungi. The most common poisonous plant enquiries, in decreasing order of frequency, were: black nightshade (Solanum nigrum), arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), kowhai (Sophora spp.), euphorbia (Euphorbia spp.), peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp.), agapanthus (Agapanthus spp.), stinking iris (Iris foetidissima), rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum), taro (Colocasia esculentum), oleander (Nerium oleander), daffodil (Narcissus spp.), hemlock (Conium maculatum), karaka (Corynocarpus laevigatus), foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and ongaonga/New Zealand tree nettle (Urtica ferox). The combined total of enquiries for these 15 species was 2754 calls (representing approximately 25% of all enquiries regarding plant exposures). The signs and symptoms resulting from poisoning from these plants are discussed. Medical treatment recommendations are made.
Poisoning following ingestion or other forms of exposures to plants in New Zealand is relatively common, particularly among children. However, serious adverse reactions are comparatively rare. Accurate plant identification and details on the type of exposure can be important in assessing the likely risks. Effective medical management of these poisonings can be achieved by following the principles outlined in this review.
No obvious signs of poisoning were reported as all nine were found dead near the banks of the stream where water hemlock was found. Upon discovery of the dead cows, the remaining 72 cows were immediately removed from the pasture and no further losses occurred. Field necropsy of 3 of the dead cows and follow-up serology and histopathological examination of selected tissues did not identify any bacterial or viral causes. History of ingestion of large quantities of water hemlock seed, the acute nature of the deaths, chemical comparison of seed with toxic tubers and follow-up mouse bioassay testing supported the diagnosis of water hemlock poisoning. Seed heads collected from the neighboring pasture upstream and across the fence from the poisoned cattle and tubers collected from grazed plants were chemically analyzed and found to contain cicutoxin, and high levels of two cicutol-like derivatives (cicutol-#1 and #2) as well as other unidentified polyacetylene compounds. Seeds and tubers from suspected plants were semi-quantified and compared to archive samples of highly toxic tubers used in previous experiments. The immature hemlock seed contained less cicutoxin (0.01 times), but 9.5 and 22.5 times more cicutol-#1 and cicutol-#2 respectively, compared to the archive sample. Tubers from the grazed plants contained 4.6 times more cicutoxin and 9.8 and 18.8 times more cicutol-#1 and cicutol-#2 respectively, compared to the archive sample. Mouse bioassays with water extracts of immature seed and tubers from grazed plants demonstrated both were highly toxic and of greater toxicity when compared to archived sample.
He had a rapidly progressive muscular weakness and was intubated for respiratory failure. His symptoms completely resolved within 24 hours of the ingestion. Conium maculatum is a common weed that causes toxicity by its primary toxin, coniine, which stimulates nicotinic receptors and causes a syndrome of rapidly progressive muscle weakness and paralysis. We describe the course of a benign-appearing plant ingestion resulting in respiratory failure.