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    Poinsettia plant exposure

    Christmas flower poisoning; Lobster plant poisoning; Painted leaf poisoning

    Poinsettia plants, commonly used during the holidays, are not poisonous. Eating this plant does not usually result in a trip to the hospital.

    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

    Diterpene esters

    Where Found

    Leaves, stem, sap of the poinsettia plant

    Symptoms

    • Eyes (if direct contact occurs):
      • Burning
      • Redness
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms are mild:
      • Nausea
      • Vomiting
      • Stomach ache
    • Skin rash and itching that are mild (See also: Contact dermatitis)

    Home Care

    Eating this plant does not usually result in a trip to the hospital.

    1. Rinse the mouth out with water if leaves or stems were eaten.
    2. Rinse eyes with water, if needed.
    3. Wash the skin of any area that appears irritated with soap and water.

    Before Calling Emergency

    Seek medical help if the person has a severe reaction.

    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

    Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.

    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.

    This plant is not considered toxic. People usually make a full recovery.

    References

    Smolinske SC, Daubert GP, Spoerke DG. Poisonous plants. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 24.

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          A Closer Look

            Self Care

              Tests for Poinsettia plant exposure

                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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