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    Cedar leaf oil poisoning

    Cedar leaf oil is a sweet-smelling oil made from some types of cedar trees. Cedar leaf oil poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance. Young children who smell the oil may try to drink it.

    This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

    Poisonous Ingredient

    • Thujone (a hydrocarbon)

    Where Found

    • Some furniture polishes
    • Some homeopathic medicines
    • Thuja oil

    Symptoms

    • Airways and lungs
      • Breathing difficulty
      • Throat swelling (may also cause breathing difficulty)
    • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
      • Loss of vision
      • Severe pain in the throat
      • Severe pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue
    • Gastrointestinal
      • Blood in the stool
      • Burns of the food pipe (esophagus)
      • Severe abdominal pain
      • Vomiting
      • Vomiting blood
    • Heart and blood vessels
      • Collapse
      • Low blood pressure that develops rapidly
    • Nervous system
      • Coma
      • Seizures
      • Stupor
    • Skin
      • Burn
      • Irritation

    Home Care

    Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

    If the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.

    If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.

    Before Calling Emergency

    Determine the following information:

    • Patient's age, weight, and condition
    • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
    • Time it was swallowed
    • Amount swallowed

    Poison Control

    The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

    This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    See: Poison control center - emergency number

    What to Expect at the Emergency Room

    The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

    • Fluids by IV
    • Breathing tube
    • Bronchoscopy -- camera down the throat to see burns in the airways and lungs
    • Endoscopy -- camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
    • Oxygen
    • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
    • Washing of the skin (irrigation) -- perhaps every few hours for several days

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

    References

    Graeme KA. Toxic plant ingestions. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 58.

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          A Closer Look

            Tests for Cedar leaf oil poisoning

              Review Date: 2/16/2012

              Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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