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    Dieffenbachia poisoning

    Dumbcane poisoning; Leopard lily poisoning; Tuft root poisoning

    Dieffenbachia is a type of house plant with large, colorful leaves. Poisoning can occur if you eat the leaves, stalk, or root of this plant.

    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

    • Oxalic acid
    • Asparagine, a protein found in this plant

    Symptoms

    • Burning in mouth or throat
    • Damage to cornea of the eye
    • Diarrhea
    • Eye pain
    • Hoarse voice
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Swelling in mouth or tongue

    Home Care

    Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Rinse your eyes and skin well if they touched the plant. Give milk to drink. Call Poison Control for more guidance.

    Before Calling Emergency

    Determine the following information:

    • The patient's age, weight, and condition
    • The parts of the plant that were eaten
    • The time swallowed
    • The 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.

    Take the plant with you to the hospital, if possible.

    See: Poison control center - emergency number

    What to Expect at the Emergency Room

    The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive breathing support and fluids through a vein (IV).

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    In rare cases, these plants may cause swelling severe enough to block the airways.

    References

    Hostetler MA, Schneider SM. Poisonous plants. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 205.

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          Self Care

            Tests for Dieffenbachia poisoning

              Review Date: 12/15/2011

              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.

              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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              St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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